Conservatives Vote to Axe Libraries
|Author: Martin Johns - Lib Dem||Published: 29th November 2017 14:37|
Towcester and Roade’s Conservative County Councillor has voted to close up to 28 of Northamptonshire’s 36 libraries. The Liberal Democrats proposed last week that Northamptonshire County Council drop plans to axe the majority of libraries and cut staff and services at larger libraries such as Towcester Library. There is a consultation at present giving the choice of three options, all of which involve the closure of libraries. The Liberal Democrats proposed that an option four should be agreed – no library closures.
Commenting Lib Dem Councillor Chris Lofts said: “Given the chance to spare our libraries from closure, the Conservative councillor for Towcester and Roade ignored local opinion and voted to close Roade Library and up to 27 other libraries, and put at risk staff and services at Towcester’s library.
These devastating cuts to our libraries are part of a Tory budget that plans to cut Trading Standards by 42%, make yet more cuts to highways and winter road maintenance, make cuts to children’s services for the most vulnerable, and savage cuts to rural bus services.”
Liberal Democrat Councillor Martin Johns says: “Local libraries form an important part within communities. Not just in supporting literacy and promoting books and reading. Libraries now are at the heart of many of our communities, running or hosting a wide range of activities for young and old alike; from giving out bus passes and teaching IT skills, to running children’s clubs and much more.”
Cllr Martin Johns adds: “Libraries are a mark of a civilised society; we destroy them at our peril.
The Conservatives have progressively eroded local services in Northamptonshire through years of being driven by their flawed ideology of low annual tax rises. Unrealistically low tax rises, together with disastrous mismanagement by local Conservatives, has left the County Council effectively bankrupt, with essential services being dismantled.”
Many well-known authors including Philip Pullman and Northampton born Alan Moore have joined the campaign against the closures, describing the Tories plans as “monstrous and appalling”.