Controversial library closure plan overturned by council

Villagers declared a victory for people power as they celebrated the re-opening of their local library this morning. It follows a six month campaign against the decision by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to close Rhydyfelin Library in order to save money

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Rhydyfelin Library officially re-opens

Rhydyfelin Library was closed at the end of May as part of council cutbacks. Credit: ITV News

Rhydyfelin Library officially re-opens today after Rhondda Cynon Taf Council went back on its decision to close it.

It comes after campaigners won their battle to keep the library open.

Local residents launched a legal challenge saying they weren't consulted on the closure, which went ahead at the end of May.

Read more: Controversial library closure plan overturned by council

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Rhydyfelin Library to re-open 'as soon as possible'

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has confirmed Rhydyfelin Library will re-open "as soon as practicably possible", after local residents opposed its closure at the end of May.

It says the decision to re-open the library is subject to the consent of the court, and the judicial review proceedings being withdrawn.

I have taken the decision as Leader of the Council to re-open Rhydyfelin Library. I will now ensure that thorough and frank dialogue is undertaken with local residents and users around the future of this facility and how the revised Library Service may support this community.

I must stress that nothing is ruled in and nothing is ruled out but this decision will allow the opportunity for consultation specifically around the future of this facility to take place.

The Council is dealing with the unprecedented challenge of tackling a budget gap of over £60m over the next three years. We have to make tough and inevitably unpopular decisions because of the massive cuts being imposed on the public sector by the UK Government. There is no way of avoiding these choices.

I would love as the new Leader to be able to categorically rule out future difficult decisions of this nature, but that approach is simply not possible or responsible.

I am keen to meet with the local community to discuss this decision and listen to their concerns.

– Cllr Andrew Morgan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council leader

Campaigners: Rhydyfelin Library closure overturned

Campaigners in Rhondda Cynon Taf say the local council has performed a u-turn on its decision to close Rhydyfelin Library.

They say the council has asked them to withdraw their judicial review case, and will re-open the library.

Rhydyfelin Library was closed at the end of May as part of council cutbacks.

Local residents launched their legal challenge after saying they were not consulted on the closure, which went ahead at the end of May, even after a group chained themselves to the shelves.

Watch: Residents launch legal action against council library cuts

The closure was one of 14 made by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council as it tries to make savings of £70m over the next four years.

Campaigner Sian Perkins said today: "We are truly elated. This victory is down to the power of the people. The whole community was committed to fighting to save this very necessary establishment and we weren’t prepared to back down."

“Rhydyfelin library is a vital component of our community used by everyone from pre-school children to pensioners."