Today I stood with like-minded people outside Woodbridge Library with a Petition opposing yet more cuts to the Suffolk libraries budget. Freezing cold and blowy, and we had 200 signatures in two hours. A fantastic start!
Suffolk County Council is proposing to slash a further £230,000 off the already pared-to-the-bone budget for Library services, despite the £150million reserves this Conservative-run administration have built up and hold “against a rainy day”. (In other words, for a time just like this.)
Our wonderful libraries have made amazing efforts to maintain services in the face of massive reductions to library funding ( there’s been a 30% reduction since 2011). The budget has already been cut to the bone. This further proposed cut is a cut too far.
As your county councillor I vehemently oppose these cuts to library services. My party opposes these cuts. Everybody I have spoken to in Woodbridge, regardless of age, background, or political affiliation has opposed these cuts. Investing in the immense range of things our libraries do so well and so cheaply is building social capital that benefits Suffolk in a huge range of ways. It is simple madness to damage it or throw it away.
THE BUDGET WILL BE DEBATED AND VOTED ON ON FEBRUARY 9th 2017. THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION HAVE A WAFER-THIN MAJORITY. IT MAY BE POSSIBLE TO CHANGE THEIR MINDS Please sign and circulate the petition (you can download it here: Library Petition 2017) and return to me by 8 February.
And if you want a reminder, here are some Reasons to FIGHT for SUFFOLK LIBRARIES
Suffolk Libraries are essential because they:
- provide friendly, welcoming, and helpful facilities for recreation and study that reflect the changing needs of local people
- support study for students of all ages – and especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds
- provide materials for many people’s leisure-learning and hobbies, enhancing and maintaining their growth ad mental health
- provide a centre for social activities and interaction of many types enhancing community cohesion
- introduce our children to the lifetime pleasures of reading
- provide a place for quiet study, and particularly for those who don’t enjoy such facilities at home
- provide a source of reference material in both physical and on-line formats
- are a key resource for the unemployed to help support them back into employment
- provide internet access for people who can’t afford such equipment, don’t have the space to accommodate it, have occasional need or just need help with the processes
- provide mobile libraries to ensure a service can be maintained in low-population-density rural areas