Libraries becoming a thing of the past?
26th January 2011
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Residents in Heathfield are being asked about their local library facilities following the announcement that Heathfield Library will close on the 17 March 2011.

In 2008 the library site was sold to build a new Whitton Health Centre. Initial plans were to re-locate the library to another location or construct a temporary demountable by the school in Powdermill Lane.   However, due to increased financial pressures, the low level of library use and the close proximity of Whitton Library, it has been decided not to proceed with this.

The Council is now considering alternative ways of providing library services for Heathfield residents, including improving nearby Whitton library which is only 0.7 miles away from the existing Heathfield Library.

Proposals include creating a Library Access Point in an existing community venue or installing an Access Point in the new health centre that is being built on the current site.

Cllr Pamela Fleming, Cabinet Member for Community Development, said:
“Like all other boroughs Richmond upon Thames is facing a challenging financial situation and this means that we have to look at how we can provide services in a different way that is better value for money.

“We have to make hard choices and I am afraid that we do not feel able to spend £400,000 on a temporary building when library use and membership at Heathfield is low and Whitton library is closeby. We have held two public meetings at the library, which I attended along and people are understandably upset about losing their library to make way for the clinic. I have listened to what people told us.

“We are now urging residents of Heathfield to comment on the alternative arrangements we are proposing. The Access Point would provide a range of popular books for adults and children, including large-print and audio books. This could be in a community centre, church hall or other accessible community building. We are also proposing to continue our Home Library Service delivery and introduce reading events and activities for children at the local Children’s Centre.”

The survey can be completed at and will run until 23  February.


Do you still use your local library?

Or are smartphones and e-readers such like the Kindle, the future, doing away with more conventional books with their downloadable content?

About the Author

Nick T

Member since: 10th July 2012

I launched The Best of Richmond in 2005 and am passionate about supporting all things local. In particular, we work hard to showcase the best local businesses who give the borough its character and make...

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