MLA's Clare makes Swindon offer

<p>MLA chief executive Roy Clare has offered &quot;consultancy support&quot; to Swindon&#39;s library service, following a visit to the town earlier today (24th February). He suggested that Swindon&#39;s library service could be integrated with health centres, children&#39;s centres and post offices.</p><p>Clare visited Swindon after being urged by local campaigner Shirley Burnham to intervene over council plans to close the Old Town Library and three others, confirmed at a meeting last night. The decision came despite a report by library campaigner Tim Coates, which argued that the council could achieve its target of saving &pound;100,000 in its library service by cutting management costs instead of by closing libraries.</p><p>Clare said he had listened to the concerns of local residents, that the consultation period over the closures had been &quot;rather swift&quot;, and that there was &quot;understandable disappointment&quot; among library users at the council&#39;s decision. Offering &quot;best practice consultancy support&quot; to the service, he suggested that libraries might be integrated with health centres, children&#39;s centres and post offices to achieve &quot;better social outcomes&quot;.</p><p>Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Burnham urged Clare, the culture secretary Andy Burnham and &quot;all those in positions of influence&quot; to help the local campaigners &quot;resist the vandals in Swindon who are bent on destroying an essential public service in our local communities&quot;.</p>