The County Council must take the blame fairly and squarely for their failure to run the budget in such a way as to meet their legal obligation to provide a library service.
Their controversial introduction of the 20 mph speed limit throughout Oxford cost £300,000 to implement.
Now a report from the Oxford Institute of Advanced Motorists says that the result has been to reduce speeds by less than one mile per hour! (See Friday's Oxford Mail). The IAM also refutes the claim that the new speed limit has led to a reduction in accidents.
I am told that the Cogges Link Road scheme in Witney if postponed would yield enough money to fund all of our libraries and then some. The contracts handed out by the County Council are worth more than £3 million.
Of course there is another problem in that Oxford City is subject to the power of the County, despite great differences in voting patterns and population. If it is unsatisfactory for Oxford City to be governed from elsewhere, how much worse is it for the UK to be governed externally by the EU? It's the same problem on a bigger or smaller scale.
I think Oxford City should run its own local affairs, with an elected mayor, and some power should be delegated even further down to the grass roots, to civil parish councils. The latter could certainly run libraries funded by our ever-rising council tax.