Guildford Library future in doubt

End of story? Councillors have voted 10-3 for staff to prepare a plan for the closure of Guildford Library.
End of story? Councillors have voted 10-3 for staff to prepare a plan for the closure of Guildford Library.

CITY of Swan councillors last week voted 10-3 for staff to prepare a plan for the closure of Guildford Library.

The motion, put forward by Cr David Fardig, received significant opposition and led to the formation of the Save Guildford Library group.

The motion requested that a report be prepared for council to consider alternative uses for the facility if it was to be closed and include discussion on the current and future vision for libraries in the City.

Cr Fardig said twice as much money was being spent on Guildford Library as other libraries in the City.

He said closing the library was a realistic option, but the report would look at the sustainability of the library.

Cr David McDonnell said the motion showed good governance.

He said it identified the problem and moved a motion to investigate its feasibility and potential future uses.

“We are not closing the library today,” he said.

Cr Ian Johnson said the library had opened in 1865.

“If we close this library because it is doing the worst of all the libraries, then what will be the next to close when it doesn’t perform as well as other libraries?” he said.

Cr Mark Elliott also spoke against the motion.

He said the motion placed what should be the last option of closing the library first and believed the issues presented could be better addressed.

Cr David Lucas said he could not, in good conscience, support the report.

“We are a board of directors and make tough decisions, but every now and then we need to listen to our shareholders: the community,” he said.

“The part I cannot support is the plan to close it. The people of Guildford have rallied.”Cr Daniel Parasiliti said he did not support the closure of the library but supported a report into how to maintain it and revitalise it.

Mayor Mick Wainwright also supported the motion.

“What the motion does do is confront the elephant in the room on the future of the library and that’s important, it doesn’t say we have to close it but gives us options on where we are going to go,” he said.

The motion was carried 10-3.