Castlereagh West Alliance Councillor, Sara Duncan, has condemned Southern Education and Library Board plans to close Belvoir Library and said that she will campaign to save the facility.
Cllr Duncan said: “I am very dismayed to learn that SELB are proposing to close Belvoir Library. Belvoir Park, with 1800 households, has no community centre, so the library is a focal point for the local residents. It is a haven of peace for those who wish to read books, to study, use the computers and find out about local events. Local primary school pupils use the library to borrow books and take part in story telling sessions there, and both High School and Primary School pupils use it as a homework resource.
“The library provides older people with a safe space to read newspapers, learn to use the Internet and meet with other local residents. This facility is also used within the Castlereagh Verbal Arts Festival so that writers can conduct workshops.
“This popular and well-resourced library is to be closed to save SELB money. Instead the SELB should be encouraging people to gain better literacy skills and promote lifelong learning. The closure of this library would severely affect these policies. The SELB should ensure that the people of Belvoir and Milltown can continue to use this valuable public service instead of closing it.
“I, along with our local Alliance team will be campaigning to ensure that no libraries in the SELB area are closed. Along with the support of local residents, Alliance successfully lobbied to save libraries threatened with closure by Belfast Education and Library Board and we will conduct a similar campaign to save libraries in the SELB area.”