By Deb Huelin, Cabinet member for performance and culture. 

AS portfolio holder for Arts Culture and Commu-nities I’m lucky enough to be involved with our libraries and the great range of services they offer and extra curricular activities they help run such as the kids Lit quiz and summer reading challenge.

Libraries are no longer just about books, they have become meeting places, areas to study and learn new skills and safe places that the community can come together in.

The recent library consultation that ran to help form the basis of the library strategy proved that residents want libraries to evolve and become more community minded.

They are much-loved spaces, and I’m pleased to say at a time when many local authorities are planning to cut back and reduce their service we are looking to not only retain all of our library services but enhance and improve them so they are fit to serve our communities for years to come.

I’m also lucky enough to be involved with the Thameside Theatre and am delighted to present another great line up of shows for you to enjoy over the next six months.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy, with a wide variety of shows from musicals including the Sound of Music, to the CBeebies Twirlywoos, to international dance from Gaelforce to the Beautiful Mind Cinema Club who provide dementia-friendly film screenings and don’t forget this years panto Aladdin.