Back from the dead – Brand new library opens in Rhydyfelin

Originally under a death sentence from RCT council Rhydyfelin library, but saved from closure by a mass campaign, re-opened in brand new building today

It was all smiles for residents and staff at Rhydyfelin Library today as it re-opened in a brand new building. The smiles radiated justifiable pride because it was their campaign that saved the library from closure by Rhondda Cynon Taff Labour council.

To listen to the dignitaries making big speeches as the library was opened you would never have known that they had tried to close the old building and abolish library services in Rhydyfelin. The credit for the new building belongs to the courageous campaign of the Rhydyfelin community that defied the council and saved the library in the first place. The library was saved from closure in 2014 by local residents who occupied the library building when the council threatened it as part of a £57 million cuts programme.

Campaigners then took the council to court and won a judicial review that made the council realise that it would take huge amounts of money and effort to force the closure through. Campaign members had threatened to stand against Labour in the council election.

So the council retreated on the closure of Rhydyfelin library although sadly the other libraries where there was not a campaign were lost to their communities. Now the library has been re-built in a brand new complex. The vibrant campaign at Rhydyfelin showed that it pays to fight the cuts.

With RCT implementing a new programme of £60 million cuts the spirit of Rhydyfelin needs to be re-born to halt the cuts programme in its tracks.

The full story of the campaign in 2014 can be read here.