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Placard-waving Strood library protesters arrive at Medway Council meeting on double-decker bus

24 January 2014
by Rebecca Hughes

Angry campaigners claim they are being ignored by Medway Council in their battle to stop Strood Library moving into a High Street charity shop.

Dozens of placard-waving protestors turned up to Thursday’s full council meeting in a double-decker London bus as they continued their campaign for the decision to be overturned.

Pressure is mounting on Medway Council to reconsider moving the library in Bryant Road to premises now used by Strood Community Project.

Two petitions with more than 5,000 signatures opposing the move were handed in at the meeting and three questions were put to Cllr Howard Doe, portfolio holder for housing and community services.

Kim West, who worked in the shop which closed its doors last Saturday, said: “There is a huge amount of public support and thousands of people have signed the petitions.

“The council is ignoring the public opinion and bulldozing its plan through without the proper procedure and public consultation. How can they not listen to so many people?

“It is a dangerous place for a library. Since we moved in in August we have seen eight crashes and one car almost came through the window. There is limited parking too. The public are going barmy.”

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Doe said: “I don’t agree it is moving to the wrong end of the high street or into an unsuitable building.

"It is a far more convenient location in an excellent building which will serve our customers very well and bring new life to the High Street of Strood.

"We want to use it to revitalise the High Street and to use our staff in the most efficient way, giving better value for money.”
He also claimed the council had agreed to lease the building at a time when it was vacant.

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