Libraries at the heart of local communities are to be slashed and burned. The Tory government has doggedly pursued their miopic and destructive austerity programme of ever increasing cuts, which have negatively impacted, disproportionately, upon the less fortunate members of society.
Cuts to services for the disabled, cuts to services for older members who rely upon social care, cuts to children’s services and many other outreach community services.
And now our libraries are to be cut.
The valiant efforts of SOLE (Save Our Libraries Essex ) to rally support for a community wide protest was inspiring. A well attended public meeting was held on Monday 18th March It was encouraging to hear that local councillors have sent a strongly worded letter expressing their opposition - yet it was lacking content that no libraries should be closed! Sadly, words are not enough and local residents demand action. Many felt outraged by comments made by councillors who failed to take action. Conservative Councillor Sheldon claimed he voted against saving the libraries because he was angry that a meeting had been called by the opposition, at the expense of tax payers, so he voted against an amendment to cuts that would have left out libraries.
Spurious additional reasons were mentioned, to the dismay of many in the room. Another of the councillors who is supposedly opposed to closures, appears to suggest that he is a realist and will have to make a difficult decision. Seems for all the words spoken, action will be limited to a letter. Come on.
Councillors sitting in that room formed action groups against Greenbelt development are now limited to a letter. Shameful. It appears that they are applying double standards and picking the most lucrative fight for a vote.
If our local council hadn’t squandered over a million pounds, with more to come on a failed local plan, perhaps they would not be crying crocodile tears over the library closures.