Tories now closing 20 local libraries

This is the letter I wrote to the Oxford Times, in relation to an article published on 2nd December, about the fact the County Council is going to close 20 local libraries. It wasn’t published, but luckily a letter by someone else who made similar points was published.

The County Council is making library staff at 20 libraries around the County redundant, and threatening the communities with closure of these libraries unless volunteers come forward to replace paid staff.

The County Council should not be blindly accepting the cuts from central government. It should be fighting the cuts to keep important and already over-worked and underfunded staff and services such as libraries, schools, hospitals and social care, open and accessible to all. In fact, these services need more investment, not cuts. But our County Council is dominated by Tory ideology of ‘small government’.

The Tories are using ‘Big Society’ as a cover for their small government ideology. As expressed by volunteers themselves in last weeks’ article, these, like many other cuts planned for by the County Council, are jobs that require trained professionals.

And what will happen to all the staff who lose their library jobs? They will be forced to go on benefits, and then work for their benefit. I can see it now, trained library staff being forced to do a job they once were paid for, to now work as a ‘volunteer’ so they can keep their benefits. The so-called ‘Big Society’ isn’t about us all working together as Mr Cameron, his government and the Country Council claim, it’s about coercion and slave labour.
Julieanne Porter, Oxford

Just really pissed off at the ConDems. Thankfully UK Uncut is coming to the rescue and giving us a place to direct our anger and get out there and stop the cuts.

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