16 Feb 2011

Library cuts: a bad day for democracy and our communities

All Conservative Cllrs voted for, the rest against the cuts to the library service. To add insult to injury one Conservative councillor is reported saying: "The public should leave the cabinet leader and cabinet member alone as they have been working hard" and then said "this restores the constituents faith in consultation'!

They really do live on another planet.

Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries released this press release today - it says it all.....

Today the County Council met to finalise their budget decisions. At this meeting the County Council condemned our public library service to heavy handed, disproportionate and permanently damaging cuts, the impact of which will resonate on our communities for decades to come, long after the council members responsible have left office. Falling literacy levels and increased social isolation will be their legacy.

They have not just ignored, but treated with contempt, the will of the 15,000 plus members of the electorate who have called for their representatives to pause and thoroughly examine the consequences of continuing down this path of destruction. In so doing they have risked the crippling expense associated with the legal challenges that are likely to follow.

Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries have raised the profile of the plight of our libraries to the national stage, proving how vital the public library service is in contributing to a healthy, motivated, and educated society and how important it is to the people of Gloucestershire. In these times of economic hardship libraries are more important than ever. We would like to once again thank the thousands who have supported us thus far, from across the county, of all ages and from all walks of life.

It is a testament to the arrogance of Councillors Hawthorne, Noble and their administration that this public outcry has gone unheeded. Gloucestershire County Council has set our libraries up for failure. Once they are gone we will never get them back.

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