Monday, 9 May 2011


Citizens of Penrhyn Bay stage sit-in!

ARMED with sausage rolls, balloons, banners and appropriately designed Royal Wedding paraphernalia, a determined bunch of local residents in Penrhyn Bay staged a sit-in last Friday at their local library branch. Their aim is to block a plan by the Borough of Conwy in North Wales to close half the local libraries in the area.

Reports suggest it was a scene akin to an Ealing Comedy, as just before the Penrhyn Bay library branch closed for lunch on the 6th May, the disgruntled crowd of locals moved onto the premises to do battle for their precious local bibliotheca. The cheerful local librarian present loyally stayed at his post while his masters, skulking in their public offices, took the best part of an hour to show their faces. Prior to that they issued threats over the phone and when that didn't work they sent for the police.

Half an hour after the protest began a smiling, good natured bobby appeared whose first utterance was: 'This must be the most civilised protest that I have ever witnessed'. It seems that no names were taken either by the library management or the police, and that the manager had to be brought over at the request of one of the protesters. Once there she was invited to sign their petition against closure, which she declined to do. Meanwhile, a spirited atmosphere of protest songs and the munching of sausage rolls prevailed. The event will be covered in the local media, including the North Wales Weekly, and further action is planned by the citizens of Penrhyn Bay to advance their cause.

If you are interested in getting involved in the campaign to save the Penrhyn Library, phone Chris on 01492 547590.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Edited North Wales Weekly News report by Mari Jones:

A sit-in by protestors at Penrhyn Bay library has ruffled a few feathers at Conwy County Council...

The library is one of seven in Conwy county threatened with closure because of cost cuts. The protestors sat in the library from 12.30 until 2pm (on Friday 6, March)

Anna Jeffery, who helped organise the sit in said: 'We told the one member of staff who was there what we were doing, & offered him a sausage roll. Balloons & banners were put round the room, & we helped ourselves to sausage rolls & coffee, as we wanted a party atmosphere & didn't want to appear menacing at all... supporters of the library ... (were) outside with banners, & lots of people were going past honking their horns in support, & some joined the protest. I felt sorry for Gareth, who works at the library as he was left to deal with the situation himself.'

Conwy Council promptly phoned for the police... and 'a policeman did come, but he was good natured' and 'soon went on his way, & so one of the management from Conwy council had to come & deal with it themselves. What our belief is, is that some of the library managers should go, rather than close down the libraries. There are actually more library managers in Conwy, than libraries which is ludicrous,' say Anna.

1 in 3 children in the UK, have no access to books at home.

Councillor Goronwy Edwards, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: 'The council is reviewing the future of its library service & we're planning to arranged meetings with stakeholders over the summer.'