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Reigate Liberal Democrats

Petition of over 2000 signatures handed in to save Surrey's Performing Arts Library

November 29, 2017 9:29 AM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Hazel & Ges RayA petition of over 2,000 signatures was today presented to a meeting of Surrey County Council's Cabinet, calling for Surrey's Performing Arts Library to be saved. The petition, which was launched by Liberal Democrat county councillors in September, was handed in by Ges Ray, Vice-Chair of the Leith Hill Music Festival. Recommendations as to the future of the service will be proposed by the Communities Select Committee at their meeting in February 2018, with a final decision taken by the Council's Cabinet in March.

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.

Ges Ray said today:

"With music scores sourced through the Surrey Performing Library, The Leith Hill Musical Festival reaches some 3,000 singers, performers and audience members each year in the Dorking Halls alone, let alone the many thousands of users across the county and beyond. If this unique jewel of a collection is dispersed now, it will effectively be lost.

David Goodwin, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Communities, said today:

"Whilst I am pleased that the County Council appear to have ruled out the closure of the service, breaking this collection up amongst a number of libraries would be tantamount to closure and so needs to be ruled out by the Conservative Administration. What is needed is time to allow the Performing Arts Library and its supporters to come up with a workable and viable financial model which secures its future going forward."

Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council, said today:

"The Library is a great asset to the county, which is why I fought so hard to protect it from the last closure plan and will continue to do so until a viable option can be found to retain it. It would be very foolish to close a service which has provided such enjoyment to audiences across Surrey and beyond."