Save our libraries
There is a real threat to our libraries. The government intends to close many of them.
To bring pressure to the government and force a u-turn.
Started 118 weeks 5 days ago
NickDeBoisMP - Date posted: 21 Jun 2011 08:12I absolutely agree that we need to preserve our libraries, indeed I have been fighting a campaign in my constituency to stop the closure of three local libraries that are of endless value to the community around them.
RobertaBlackmanWoodsMP - Date posted: 17 Jun 2011 11:13
I agree, libraries are a very important community resource, especially for disadvantaged communities. We need to keep as many open as possible but libraries will also need to modernise where appropriate.
Librarian, I do agree with you - its a terrible shame that Councils are cutting libraries, but it is also a terrible shame they are cutting social care for old people. The sort of people that receive social care from Council's tend to live more deprived areas and are less likely to effectively lobby and campaign. Does that make this more or less important than libraries. Which should we protect? How should the choice be made?
Barnacle, this is what makes it so difficult, when the cuts are so serious that everyone is affected. The worst that can happen is then campaigners for different services start fighting eachother and not the council. My own view point, eminently selfish though it may be, is that one must campaign for the services oneself holds dear. I am delighted, though, that social care provision won an important victory in Birmingham today.
Also, we must not underestimate the importance of libraries. I work in one (as you may have guessed) and we are getting four or five worried queries a day about whether we are staying open.
One has stuck in my mind fro two weeks ago.
An old chap, not obviously in need (and eminently sane and sensible) looked me in the eye and told me he wouldn't know what to do without the library and that he would kill himself without it. He went on to explain that it is his only point of contact with the outside world and his only leisure activity.
My wife works for a Council service that helps old people in their homes with basic tasks like cooking and cleaning. It helps them remain in their own home and also provides contact with the outside world. These services are now loosing their grants from government. I don't think we should blame Councils, they have just been put in the awful position of deciding what to cut by government, but I don't think we should blame government, they are just cleaning up the mess left by greedy bankers.
Bankers alas seem to be immune from campaigning. We must do what we can in this imperfect world where those who caused the actual mess appear to be able to walk away free of blame. I am in no way arguing against old people's care - that is really important - but we should remember we are both on the same side against cuts. Divide and Rule is a powerful means of governance and the Government (and Local Councils to some extent) are learning to use it very well.
I absolutely agree that we need to preserve our libraries, indeed I have been fighting a campaign in my constituency to stop the closure of three local libraries that are of endless value to the community around them. I am also pleased that the Department for Communities and Local Government is also undertaking work on the ownership and running of community assets in the Localism Bill. Ministers want to give individuals and community organisations a fair chance to take over facilities and assets that are important to them, including their local libraries.
As one of the Councillors for one of the wards (Enfield Lock) Mr de Bois represents I wish to reassure Enfield residents, and members of the wider public, that no decision has been taken to close any library in the areas Mr de Bois suggests. DigitialDemocracy members et al should understand what Mr de Bois does not tell his constituents, and members of the wider public is that Enfield Council, which is currently run by Labour, has received £8 million pounds more in cuts compared to wealthier boroughs such as Richmond-upon-Thames and Kingston. Mr de Bois may lay claim to standing up for people of Enfield North -or should I say being an Enfield MP in Westminster and not a Westminster MP in Enfield.
Well, now is the time for Mr de Bois to stand up and be counted and oppose the what his government is doing to Enfield. If any cuts to have to be made it will be down to the unfair allocation of funds to Enfield Council by the government, and if all three libraries survive it will not be down to Mr de Bois, it will be done to the ingenuity of Labour Councillors and Council officers fighting a hidden agenda by Mr de Bois and his government to ru systemactically weaken public services to make the case easier for corporations to move in to take control not just of libraries but all public services.
Are libraries an essential service given today's technology? I am not so sure. I think that they should be cut before certain proposed police and NHS cuts. Essential services should always be provided by the public sector i.e. an efficient not for profit organisation. The CON LAB have no idea between them, and have currently got our country into a real mess, and the average working class family are really suffering the consequences.
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