POLITICIANS have joined a battle to save Whiteinch Library after bosses announced it will close permanently.

Glasgow Life initially said on Twitter the community hub would stay temporarily closed for refurbishments as libraries across the city reopen.

But yesterday it performed a u-tun and confirmed plans to permanently move Whiteinch Library resources to Scotstoun Stadium. 

It is now asking for any group that might make use of the building to come forward with suggestions. 

Local residents expressed outrage at the decision, which would see the closure of the final Victorian public building in the area.  

The library closure coincides with the announcement that there are no plans to re-open Victoria Park Tennis and Bowls, another important public facility. 

Carol Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North West, said: "Whiteinch Library is not only a stunning period building, it is also a local landmark that Whiteinch residents, myself included, are very proud of. 

"It has been at the centre of our community for nearly a century, providing a vital educational and recreational service for young and old alike. 

"I grew up enjoying the facilities in Whiteinch Library and have many happy memories of poring over wonderful books there.  

"It is a testament to the principle that learning should be locally accessible to all.  

"As a community we know all too well that, unless protected, historic buildings can very easily fall into disrepair. 

"The library is located just round the corner from the historic Whiteinch Swimming Baths, which were closed and turned into flats, and is on the opposite corner to Whiteinch Burgh Hall which is currently disused and boarded up. 

"Local residents are adamant that they do not want to lose the last functioning Victorian public building in the area." 

Whiteinch Library, which opened in 1926, stores thousands of books and countless learning resources. 

It also hosted community events and classes before the pandemic began. 

For the past year, the library has remained closed in line with lockdown safety measures. 

Carol added: "We all understand that the pandemic has caused considerable problems for public funding bodies. 

"We have all tightened our purse strings in these exceptional circumstances, and organisations such as Glasgow Life are no different. 

"However, closing the library and rehousing its books elsewhere is not an adequate solution. 

"Scotstoun Stadium is a considerable walk from many of Whiteinch’s residential areas and is not as well-served by bus routes as Whiteinch. 

"For many older residents, this will make a library visit far more challenging.  

"In addition, although Scotstoun Stadium is an excellent community hub in its own right, it is a sports and leisure facility – not a library. 

"Relocating library services there would not only reduce spaces available for sport; it also wouldn’t provide the calm and quiet environment needed for a library. 

"Understandably, many Glasgow North West constituents are outraged at these announcements regarding the library, as well as Victoria Park Tennis and Bowls facilities."

The MP said she has contacted Glasgow Life to demand a meeting on the issue.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow Life said: “Glasgow Life is a charity that delivers programmes, experiences and events through arts and music, museums, libraries and learning, gyms and outdoor sporting facilities.

"Glasgow Life’s operating budget this year is nearly 15% lower than pre-pandemic budgets for the charity and the £100 million safety net announced by Glasgow City Council will be fully utilised reopening more than 90 facilities across the city we confirmed last week.

“Every time we have been able to confirm more venues will reopen, we have informed people which venues would open and indicated likely dates.

"As of last month, we expect we can reopen a third more venues than we predicted in July 2020 due to further budget certainty.

"Once the future of any venue is decided in discussion with Glasgow City Council, we will make users aware.

“Whiteinch Library is not one of the facilities planned to reopen, however Glasgow Life is exploring how the community library provision can be supported in another venue as part of the city’s approach to community hubs.

"Anyone wishing to indicate their interest in using Whiteinch Library building can do so through Glasgow City Council’s People Make Glasgow Communities programme.”