Save Clifton Library – Why?

  • Clifton Library is one of the most used libraries in the City
  • A range of popular exercise classes take place in the upstairs room.
  • Previous events hosted by the Friends have been very popular, demonstrating that there is a need for a place to socialise in the Village.
  • Recent support for the petition has shown how much people want to keep the building open. Please sign it using the

Save Clifton Library – How?

  • Use it! Every time an individual goes through the door, it’s counted and will be used
    in the evaluation process undertaken by BCC.
  • Book into the exercise classes
  • Volunteer with the Friends.
    the odd hour with FoCCaL to help put out chairs, make
    tea, put up posters, and so on. No need to join a committee, and it’s great, sociable
  • Attend our varied and interesting events which you can read about in this brochure!
  • Sign our petition here .

The threat to the Library

In 2015, Bristol City Council proposed cuts to library services, but widespread protests limited the changes to reductions in library hours. But the growing threat was clear and so FoCCaL was formed, and started to build a programme of activities and events and to try to develop an income stream to prepare for the future.
That future is here now. In June 2017, the council announced plans to close many libraries in Bristol, including Clifton Library, in an effort to make budget cuts of £100 million.

But the community are fighting back.
Over 80 people in Clifton submitted their views to the council during its consultation period – the most of any area of Bristol – and a petition to save the library is close to the 3,500-signature target that will force a debate in full council.
And FoCCaL’s work means that it will be very hard for the council to argue that the Clifton building isn’t well used and is an asset they can dispose of.
The council’s final decisions will come before its cabinet later this year or in early 2018.
In the meantime, please make full use of the library, its groups and its classes, and
join us at our events.
Together, let’s keep Clifton Library open.


Our Autumn 2017 programme has over 70 great items. Singing, oral histories of Clifton, film nights, authors reading their stories, performances, a baroque evening, lectures on the environment… you name it, we’ve got it!


Here are some of the upcoming events with FoCCaL. Click on an event to find out more.



Click on each photo below to read about that FoCCaL committee member.

Paula O’Rourke

Paula O’Rourke

I worked in schools for many years as Head of English and came to Bristol in 2013 to work in a new school out near Parkway but didn’t like it there. I then began working for the National College for Teaching and Leadership which means I work from home and have a lot more flexibility – and let’s be honest, more time. Teachers DO really put in a lot of hours! Being new to Clifton and having always been part of communities (married to a soldier and then always at the hub of big schools) I wanted to get involved in ‘village life’ when I set up home here in the heart of Clifton. Libraries were under threat of closure in my first summer in Bristol and I got involved in trying to ensure that ours stayed open. When the reprieve was announced, I was delighted, but not blind to the obvious which is that ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it.’ And as much as that applies to muscle tone, it also applies to taxpayer-subsidised services. That is when I gathered support for what has become Friends of Clifton Centre and Library. In May 2016, I was elected as one of the two councillors for Clifton and am delighted to be able to continue to work to create what I hope will, eventually, be a thriving community centre and library facility.

Marian Tucker

Marian Tucker

I’ve lived in Hotwells and Cliftonwood since 1979 and have been actively involved in the local community for the past 32 years. I worked as a physiotherapist in Bristol for over 20 years doing community work and arthritis research and am now semi-retired. I’m currently a director of Bristol Community Ferry Boat Company and Network for Social Change and the coordinator for the Green Party in Clifton.

Kate McNab

Kate McNab

Bristolian, attended Christchurch Primary School, where the building is today occupied by the library and an increasingly varied number of classes for our community. Ex-Jazz group – Sweet Substitute, ex- Bristol Old Vic Company, ex-Theatre In Education practitioner, ex-Drama teacher at Ashton Park, Kate currently administrates, produces and performs in shows for Ministry of Entertainment. Kate has lived in ‘the village’ all her life. She wants to introduce ‘Clifton Sings’ into her erstwhile school building and hopes to kick-start live amateur and professional performances alongside a range of drama activities. Through the website Streetlife she has already noted a wealth of interest among local people in becoming involved in the above community projects.

Gareth Hoskins

Gareth Hoskins

Gareth has more than 30 years of experience, involving finance and project management, in the public sector; working to budgets and deadlines at increasingly senior levels.
Degree educated, from 1985 onwards Gareth has been involved at board level and as part of management boards, including Chief Administrative Officer (finance/admin/property).
Gareth was a founder-Director and CEO of Brendon Energy (founded in 2011) – a community benefit society based in Somerset and is now a Director of Bristol Energy Cooperative.
Gareth has been a member of the Transition movement for over a decade and decided that the most effective way to contribute, given his background, was to help to develop renewable energy.

He is also Chair and Director of freeholder-owned residential property companies setting annual budgets, appointing contractors and managing income/expenditure.


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