Monday, 17 January 2011
Sylvia Vetta writes to Keith Mitchell
Dear Councillor Mitchell
As your Councillors and Officers have proved unwilling to give us the detailed financial information with which to come up with alternative proposals for making the required savings in the library budget, we have turned our attention to the unintended consequences. At the heart of your proposal is the idea that good public transport links will make it easy for library users to visit hub libraries like Oxford Central.
Have you forgotten about the cost of the free bus pass scheme? From April 1st the bus pass scheme will be paid for by the County Council. Using statistics on the ages of library users and figures from the Vale District on the cost of journeys we have calculated that for Kennington library that the extra cost to the county of eligible users transferring to Oxford Central will be £14000. As the net cost of Kennington Library is about £22,000 this appears to indicate that under your current proposals nearly 65% of your expected savings will simply be paid to the Oxford Bus Company. We imagine that a similar calculation could be made for all the libraries earmarked for closure.
We are of the opinion that cutting all libraries by an equal percentage and letting big Society volunteers help ameliorate the effects is the fairest way and judging from the above will make more efficient savings for the County. Or maybe there is something we are missing.. the revenue from selling off buildings like Berinsfield Library?