Mayor Davies told a packed meeting of Bawtry residents this week that he had never visited Bawtry library.
Questioned by a resident over whether Bawtry library had been selected for closure because the site may be more valuable for sale, Mayor Peter Davies said: “I don’t know anything about that because I do not know what the building looks like.”
When a young resident asked what children from Bawtry Mayflower would do if the library closed, because they hold regular activities at the library, the mayor responded “I take it Bawtry Mayflower is a school is it? Well they can do their activities in the school.”
Jackie Maguire, a Bawtry resident of 26 years,: “I attended the meeting and said that I was appalled that the Mayor could come to a public meeting about Bawtry library and say that he had never visited it and didn’t know what it looked like or where it was. He was very poorly prepared.”
Said Mick Maguire, “I never really got an answer from Mayor Davies as to how Bawtry, which ranked in the top 3 on the statutory criteria, and 7th when local factors were added in, could be going to be cut. The Mayor had no answer to that. ”
Mayor Davies refused to let the BBC Radio record the public meeting, threatening to leave if the recording went ahead.
Said Caroline Flint: “I do feel the Mayor embarrassed himself at the Bawtry public meeting. When an elected Mayor tells residents who are fighting to save an important public asset that he doesn’t know anything about it – how can they trust the quality of that decision?
“Mayor Davies just sees a building with a £70,000 a year cost attached. He knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing. Libraries play a huge role in communities like Bawtry. They are a focal point for a range of activities.
“Mayor Davies and his Tory-led Cabinet are rushing at this, making bad decisions along the way. No wonder Bawtry residents are up in arms about it.”
Bawtry library runs literacy sessions for all ages; acts as a meeting point for people to meet their Jobmates to prepare their cv’s; has an exhibition area; and is regularly used by the local primary school.