The Liberal Democrats have launched a petition to save the Surrey Performing Arts Library which is under threat of closure by Surrey County Council. Surrey residents have reacted with dismay on hearing of the threatened closure and that the County Council's consultation exercise will give residents just two weeks to respond.
The Library, which is currently based near Dorking at Denbies Wine Estate, houses a truly unique collection of music, theatre, orchestral and dance materials available for public loan. It also holds a specialist Vaughan Williams collection and permanent display covering the life and works of Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), commemorating his strong links with the area where he lived and where he composed some of his most important pieces.
Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council, said:
"I am appalled that the Conservative administration at County Hall is trying to rush through a consultation in just two weeks on the closure of this unique and much loved amenity. Liberal Democrat county councillors have previously opposed attempts to close this facility and will do so again, in order to protect such an important part of Surrey's musical and artistic heritage. I have written to the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive asking them to extend the consultation to six weeks, in order for as many residents as possible to respond.
"The Performing Arts Library is a great asset to the County. The Library not only benefits the many groups that use play scripts and musical scores to perform plays and orchestral works, but also benefits the audiences who enjoy the performances. The beneficial impact of the Library is immense and we need to do everything possible to retain it. I am calling for as many residents as possible to respond to the County Council's consultation and also to sign the petition we have launched today to retain the Performing Arts Library and protect it from closure".
Cllr David Goodwin, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Communities, added:
"This service must be retained for the benefit of all Surrey residents. There has been little or no scrutiny of this proposal by county councillors and a two week consultation period is totally inadequate. These plans should be fully examined by all county councillors in Surrey before any decisions are made. To lose such a specialist service alongside many dedicated and knowledgeable staff would be an act of great folly, and we will oppose it".
A link to the petition can be found here:
The County Council online consultation on the future of the Library can be found here: