Plaid Cymru politicians call for immediate aid package to save national library from cuts.
Pressure is mounting on the Welsh Labour government to provide immediate financial support to safeguard the future of the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.
Plaid Cymru Senedd Member for Arfon Siân Gwenllian and Member of Parliament Hywel Williams have called on the Welsh government to urgently set aside funding to secure the future of the cultural asset.
Their intervention comes as a petition calling on the Welsh government to increase its financial support for the institution receives nearly 12,000 signatures.
The local politicians have been lobbied by a number of constituents who are regular users of the National Library, concerned that Welsh government Deputy Minister for Culture Dafydd Elis-Thomas seems very reluctant to find an answer to the crisis.
Siân Gwenllian MS said:
'The Welsh Government has ignored the financial concerns of the National Library of Wales which is clearly reflected in the lack of funding set aside for the Library in the latest budget.'
'The Deputy Minister for Culture has failed to accept recommendations to increase funding made by the Tailored Review of the National Library.'
'On behalf of Plaid Cymru, I have challenged the Government to provide adequate support to the Library on three separate occasions in the Senedd during November and December, but to no avail.'
'The National Library has already restructured in recent years and lost 90 staff. It now faces the prospect of losing 30 further members of staff, which would threaten the highly important work the Library carries out.'
'The Library is a fundamental part of the cultural, educational and historic life of Wales and the Welsh Government must urgently set aside proper funding to safeguard it.'
Hywel Williams MP said:
'Everyone with an interest in Welsh culture and history realises the value of our outstanding National Library.'
'If further cuts were imposed on her there is a real danger we would lose many years of expertise and innovation in so many areas.'
'Welsh Government must take over its responsibility as a matter of urgency and give direct support to the Library. The future of one of Wales' and the world's cultural treasures is at stake.'