Couple’s library ordeal is over

James Scanlon held a one man protest outside Bridlington Central Library.
James Scanlon held a one man protest outside Bridlington Central Library.

A new mum is celebrating the end of an ordeal with a library after claiming she had been prevented from breastfeeding her baby.

Suzanne Buzza, of Lawson Road, said Bridlington Central Library prevented her from breastfeeding by not allowing her to bring her 11-week-old baby on a adult-learning course with her.

She also suffers from a form of anxiety which means she becomes very distressed when separated from baby Evie.

On Tuesday 6 January Suzanne alleged library staff told her she couldn’t bring her baby with her again after that week.

Suzanne said: “I asked whether it would be OK to take Evie in with me and they said yes, but not the week after.

“I don’t know what they expected me to do, Evie’s very young and she needs to be fed – it was very upsetting.”
When her fiancé James Scanlon heard of the incident he immediately phoned the library and enlisted the help of a solicitor.

He said: “The library is a public building – the member of staff I spoke to said they had offered Suzanne a private room to breastfeed in.

“This was not the case though, they never offered her anything and just told her she wasn’t allowed to breastfeed or bring Evie after that week.”

The couple allege they were told if Suzanne wanted to breast feed Evie while at the library, then James would have to bring Evie from home so Suzanne could breastfeed in a private room.

James said he was told he would then have to take the baby home afterwards.

“We live 15 minutes away, it’s totally unrealistic to expect me to bring Evie into the library every time she needs feeding because I’m a working man”

The couple said when Suzanne was pregnant they asked everyone attending the course at the library whether bringing Evie in with her would be problematic.

James added: “Even the course tutor said it would be fine because he knows what it’s like to have a baby.

“It’s a public building, she should be allowed to bring her new baby if she wants to, and she shouldn’t have to go to a private room to breastfeed.”

James, who is a member of the UNITE Union, said he enlisted the support of a solicitor, and he still believes the incident broke the law.

The couple were invited by the council to meet with Jackie Farrar, the performance manager from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Employment, Education and Skills Team.

A spokesperson for the East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “Our meeting with Miss Buzza and Mr Scanlon was a very productive one, with the council discussing a number of options to enable Miss Buzza to continue her studies at this time.

“Miss Buzza enquired as to whether she could re-enroll for the class later this year, when her daughter is older, and the council was happy to accommodate her request .”

James added: “I think this all could have been sorted out in a much better way. Sue has missed weeks off her course now, which is why we have chosen for her to start again in September.

“The Council gave us several options, including one which would allow Sue to bring Evie into the classroom.

“I just wish they followed proper procedures instead of attacking Sue straight away for wanting to bring her baby into the class with her.”

Suzanne is due to start her course again later this year in September.