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Home   Medway   News   Article

Medway council has ignored pleas not to move Strood Library, say protesters

24 March 2014
by Chris Hunter

Doth they protest too much?

Not nearly enough, say library lovers who will take to the streets in protest against plans to move Strood Library.

Campaigners say there is widespread opposition to Medway Council's plans, which involve closing the existing library site in Bryant Road and moving services to a new community hub in Strood High Street.

But they say efforts to spell out faults with the plan have not registered in the minds of Medway council, and this Saturday, March 29, they will march from Strood to Rochester to force their message home. 

“What’s annoyed us more than anything else is the way in which the Council has ignored the views of local people and is pressing ahead in the teeth of widespread opposition”, says Strood Library Action Group campaigner Sue Berry. “5,000 people signed a petition and there have now been protests at three Council meetings as well as a lobby at Gun Wharf but they won’t listen.

"We have been dismissed as ‘peasants’ because we refuse to accept their one-size-fits-all plans that take no account of what Strood people want or need. Well, we’ve got news for them; the peasants are revolting!”

Strood campaigners formed an action group earlier this year after 60 people attended a public meeting about library closure. The group say they have been overwhelmed by the level of  opposition to the plans.

Kim West, Manager of the Strood Community Project, whose shop at 133 High Street has closed to make way for the Hub said: “you will struggle to find anyone living locally who is in favour of this move. It’s ludicrous! They’ve forced out a local charity doing brilliant work with vulnerable people and are planning to spend millions refurbishing an unsuitable building. Nobody wants this.”

Saturday's March - backed by Medway Trades Council and supported by the Local Government UNISON Branch representing library workers - will end at the new Rochester Community Hub, with a rally addressed by local activists.

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