Cosham library to stay put

Cosham library
Cosham library
Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan

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Councillors today agreed to let Cosham library to stay where it is.

They made the decision after users called for the present location to be maintained. Portsmouth City Council launched a survey in December seeking residents’ views over where a library in Cosham should be based.

Residents were asked if they wanted the library to stay in Spur Road, Cosham, and try to improve it, move it to Portsmouth Road, or leave it where it is and continue to look for another site.

There were a total of 636 responses and 56.76 per cent said the authority should leave it where it is and improve it.

Councillors discussed the results at a cabinet meeting today – and agreed with the findings. Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said he was pleased with the feedback.

He said: ‘It’s good to ask people what they think. If there was somewhere on the precinct then people might want to look at that but clearly they don’t want it to move to the other side of the railway line, and we are not going to do that.’

The consultation attracted controversy as it included some questions asking about sexuality. And the council has apologised after some personal data – including e-mail addresses and house numbers – was included in a list of consultees on the consultation report.

Stephen Baily, head of the council’s development and cultural services, said: ‘As soon as we knew the Cosham library consultation report contained some personal data, we took swift action, including writing to the residents concerned to explain and apologise for the error.

‘It is very important to note this is not classed as a serious breach of data protection, and only three e-mail addresses and a very small number of addresses were in the report.

‘The report was only on the council website for a short amount of time, the page it was on had very few visits and the report itself was not downloaded at all.’

HERE are some of the anonymous responses to the Cosham library consultation.

’Parking is more convenient where it is now rather than anywhere else suggested. The small library is great.’

‘I don’t think it matters if it is not on the High Street. I still think the unit is quite central.’

‘I am a regular user of the library and would like to see it expanded and improved.’

‘Why move it? It’s only yards away from the shops anyway.’

‘I have been using this library since 1937, while living in east Cosham. A good-looking building that should be preserved.’

‘I love the library – leave it alone.’

‘The area around Portsmouth Road needs regeneration and a library would be perfect, particularly around the park.’

‘Why not try and move further east to include Farlington and Drayton residents?’

‘When can Drayton have a library? We have been overlooked once again I believe.’

‘Older people do not like things changing. We would sooner have things stay as they are, but improve it.’