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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 September 2011

Save Surrey libraries!

Paul Couchman, Surrey County Unison branch secretary (personal capacity)

Surrey County Council has threatened that another nine libraries will close if their local communities do not step forward and take them over with volunteers. There were originally eleven libraries threatened and now there are 19, with one taken off the list.

Library users, friends and action groups have all come together - alongside Unison and the Women's Institute - to set up the Surrey Libraries Action Movement (SLAM) to stop every library closure and redundancy or redeployment.

Representatives of almost all the threatened libraries have been active in the campaign. We held a successful lobby of the council in July with over 100 people.

All the threatened libraries have the lowest number of borrowers as they service mainly small, rural communities. But these are not just buildings with rows of books - they are social hubs, community and youth centres, parents and children's centres. If they were to close there would be nothing similar in most of these villages.

SLAM and all its affiliates will fight hard to mobilise the widest layer of people, linking with the trade unions, to defend having paid staff in every library.

Many of the library friends groups are also collecting volunteers as they are worried about losing their libraries. They do not want to go down this road but would rather have the back-up position if forced into a corner.

We have organised a day of action on 1 October with local library activities in the morning, and a Surrey-wide rally outside Woking library at 2pm. We will also be lobbying the full council meeting on 11 October, 11am at County Hall in Kingston. SLAM's e-petition already has the highest number of signatories of any current petition.

See www.savesurreylibraries.org

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 14 September 2011:


Socialist Party features

We need a programme of action to fight back!

Austerity policies strangle growth


Socialist Party youth and students

Pampered politicians plan education massacre... STOP THEM!

Low pay and the housing crisis

Youth must join pensions struggle

EMA cuts: doors close on our future

Cuts hit young people hard in Hastings


Stop attacks on pensions

Hands off our pensions!

NHS pensions - Pay more, work longer and get less!


Socialist Party workplace news

Bombardier

Support Wyndeham workers

No to pay cuts in Carmarthenshire

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

How can the national rights of Palestinians be achieved?


Socialist Party news and analysis

NSSN calls on TUC to open the floodgates of mass action

Nationalise the banking system!

Childcare costs push parents into hardship

Save our NHS

Fast news


Socialist Party review

Power and terror


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save Surrey libraries!

Bristol: Labour's short-lived valour

Hundreds march against Dale Farm evictions

May Day protest case goes to Strasbourg


 

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Related links:

Surrey:

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triangleSurrey Socialist Party: The election, a Corbyn government and fighting austerity

triangleFrimley NHS Trust: Strikers remain determined to defeat privatisation

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Libraries:

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Council:

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Unison:

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