Council closes the book on free library parking
Meath Co Council has removed a number of designated free parking spaces at Meath County Library in Navan.
Library member Michael Carolan has expressed his disappointment at the move saying that it is “a backward step” that will discourage families from using the service.
"There were a few designated free parking spaces for library users and I noticed recently that the sign for this was gone. I went into the library and asked at the desk and the staff members who are very helpful people confirmed that everyone now has to pay.
"I think it's very mean of Meath Co Council. There are a lot of families and children that use the library and it's a wonderful source of information. To think that they have to now go and pay to park there it's a retrograde step. That's how you kill a town.
"You need to encourage not discourage people from going into the library. Families are under enough pressure these days.”
Madeline Thornton who was an unsuccessful candidate for the Navan area in the local elections earlier this year says the move 'undermines the civic spirit.'
"I am really disappointed that our newly elected council would vote to start charging for parking outside the library in Navan since the library fulfils a central place at the heart of the social and civic life in Navan. This is at a time when Government policy is to make libraries more accessible for families."
"I think this against the spirit of the philanthropist Carnegie who thought libraries should be for the community and access to books and learning should be as available as possible for all for the good of society in general."
Meath Co Council commented that:
"This area was a pay and display area at all times and this is not a new paid parking system.
"There were some bays with a sign for library staff and library users.
"The pay and display bays are shared with residents in the area with resident permits.
"The residents reported misuse of the bays, i.e. some cars parking and not attending the library.
“This decreased space available for families/readers visiting the library and the paid parking increases the availability of spaces.
"The library staff has agreed to use the former county hall car-park and free up spaces for both residents and library users.
"Parking charges increase the turnover of cars and increases the availability of spaces."