‘We’re not amateurs and do-gooders’

Volunteers who want to keep Crowland library running, from left: Davis Kennerley, Jill Carr and Paul Bywater.
Volunteers who want to keep Crowland library running, from left: Davis Kennerley, Jill Carr and Paul Bywater.

Volunteers say they have been hurt by a poster accusing them of being an “assortment of amateurs” when all they want is to keep Crowland Library open.

Two posters have been in public view on the town noticeboard – one written by UKIP councillor Peter Bird and the other a reply by the community steering group formed when villagers learned their library was under threat.

Mr Bird’s poster states: “The Conservatives just want to sack the paid librarians, who have served the community for many years and replace them with an assortment of volunteering amateurs who might not know answers to your questions nor be able to operate computerised equipment.

“What a mess it’s going to be.”

In reply, a letter written on behalf of the community library steering group by chairman Peter Bywater said it wished to make it known that Mr Bird was no longer a member of the group.

Mr Bywater said members acknowledged the efforts of Mr Bird in setting the group up ahead of a public meeting, but said he was now “following a different agenda”.

He said: “The steering group would ideally like to keep the library as it currently is but Linconshire County Council has decreed that it has to close.

“It is very disappointing and distressing that any loss of librarians’ jobs that might follow closure is now being attributed to the actions of the steering group.

“This is simply not true. If we do nothing then the library will close. If we succeed with our bid the library will close – but we will reopen it as a community-run library.”

“We are not motivated by a political agenda, nor a desire to be do-gooders or for personal glorification.

“We are motivated by a passionate belief that the library and associated functions provide valuable and vital services that Crowland can ill afford to lose.”