“EVERYONE hates the idea already” – that’s what a concerned resident has said as he pleaded with councillors not to close Boyn Grove Library.

Four libraries are now in danger of shutting down after lead members agreed at a meeting on January 28 (Thursday) to launch a public consultation and engage with stakeholders over the possible closures.

In order to save funds and as part of cabinet’s transformation strategy – which would supposedly build a ‘community centric borough of opportunity and innovation’ – the library services will be swapped for a 24/7 ‘digital offer’ for more people across the borough to access via computers, laptops, mobile devices, etc.

One of the libraries that could close down is Boyn Grove Library – which was only opened in 2015.

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Boyn Hill resident Andrew Hill launched a petition – which has garnered over 260 signatures – urging leading Conservative councillors not to shut down the ‘well used and well located’ library.

Speaking at the cabinet meeting, he said it was “astonishing” it could close considering its ‘high level of book borrowing’ and the library is ‘well used’ by dementia and learning disability groups as well as school groups.

Mr Hill said: “Nothing is going to change if you put it out for consultation. Everyone hates the idea already, so don’t waste public money and council tax money on this.

“How much will the consultation cost officers? Why not save a librarian’s job instead. RBWM [Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead] already has the money to retain libraries.”

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He added: “If you can’t afford libraries, can you afford the luxury of two managing directors? If you can’t afford libraries, then can you justify paying Conservative councillors £224,000 in special responsibility allowances just for chairing Zoom meetings?

“Isn’t it an honour and a privilege to chair a council meeting?”

Councillor Samantha Rayner (Conservative: Eton & Castle), lead member for resident and leisure services, said this wasn’t a decision “taken lightly” by the council and pledged to work with Boyn Hill councillors as well as partners to try and save the library and others across RBWM.

She said: “I’m a bit sad you [Mr Hill] think the consultation is a waste of time because I really hope through the consultation, we can find some solutions and I will be the happiest person if we can save Boyn Hill Library.”

You can view the petition here: https://petitions.rbwm.gov.uk/saveboyngrove/.