Thursday, 16 December 2010

Bury Knowle Library is 8th most well used library in the County and the 3rd most well used in the city.

Dear All,
I will work in whatever way to support Bury Knowle library from protest to constructive consideration of ideas to keep this important local facility open including partnership and community-led options. I am also acutely aware that library staff jobs are under threat and that community-led proposals will face a moral dilemma where volunteers could be doing work that were previously held by County employees. Nor does the 'Big Society' idea seem to take account of the skills and capabilities entailed in librarianship and in other public sector jobs currently at risk.

BKL is 8th most well used library in the County and the 3rd most well used in the city.

It is not clear how the Tory administration in County Hall has come to the proposals they released a couple of weeks ago which suggests about half the library service will be cut. I am working with a Headington resident who has prepared a cost benefoit analysis of the proposed closure which suggests that the long-term loss could be many times higher when costed out than to current cost of running the library. It is that aspirational / visionary benefit which should be borne in mind when such decisions are taken rather than the bean-counting approach which now threatens the service.

I could say more about the ideological basis of the huge cuts being inflicted on local government by the Con-Dem coalition at this time but readers can work that out for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

And, of course, I am equally concerned about proposed closure of Old Marston library.

Roy Darke
County Councillor for Headington / Marston division

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