Will Forster

Mayor of Woking and Lib Dem County Councillor for Woking South Learn more

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Lib Dems launch petition to save the Surrey Performing Arts Library

by willforster on 27 September, 2017

The Lib Dems have launched a petition to save the Surrey Performing Arts Library which is under threat of closure by Surrey County Council.

I know many Surrey residents have reacted with dismay on hearing of the threatened closure – the County Council’s consultation exercise will give residents just a month 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, commemorating his strong links with the area where he lived and where he composed some of his most important pieces.

The Lib Dems and I are appalled that the Conservative administration at County Hall is trying to close this unique and much loved amenity.  The Lib Dem Councillors who represent the area 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 – they 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.

There has been little or no scrutiny of this proposal by County Councillors – these plans should be fully examined by all Councillors 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.

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.  That is why the Lib Dems and I are calling for as many residents as possible to respond to the County Council’s consultation – here – and also to sign our recently launched petition to retain the Performing Arts Library and protect it from closure petition – here.

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