Former mayor's plea to keep Wyke Regis library open

3:30pm Wednesday 23rd March 2011

By Martin Lea

A PLEA to save a community library has come from the man who helped to get it built in the first place.

Alderman Roy Gainey, who served on Weymouth and Portland Borough Council for more than 50 years and holds the title of freedom of the borough, used to head the local library committee.

He recalls using his casting vote as chairman which enabled a library to be built at Wyke Regis in the 1960s.

Now with Wyke among the branches under threat, Mr Gainey, 83, has added his support to the campaign to keep it open.

Wyke library was saved from the chop three years’ ago but saw its opening hours reduced.

Dorset County Council is now proposing to withdraw funding from 20 libraries. Communities are being offered the chance to take over the running of facilities.

Mr Gainey said the council should find the funding for the library at Wyke which he described as a ‘great community asset.’ He described how he and others fought to get the library built, mainly because of calls from naval families.

Mr Gainey said: “The Library Committee never had full membership and I persuaded colleagues in the Labour Group to join me on the committee.

“I proposed the council find a site for a branch library because there was a clear need in the community. When it came to the vote I used my casting vote to pass it.”

Mr Gainey still owns a brochure which was published giving details of the opening ceremony of Wyke Library on Saturday April 7 1962. The brochure reveals the library’s initial stock was 5,000 volumes.

Mr Gainey, who also served as a county councillor, said: “It’s time to shout now about Wyke Library.”

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