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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 July 2013

Lincolnshire - save our libraries

Nick Parker

Legendary US broadcaster Walter Cronkite once said that "whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation". Sadly, Lincolnshire county council doesn't share Cronkite's philosophy.

Since May's elections, a new coalition of Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and 'independents' announced plans to either close or dramatically cut huge swathes of our public library services across Lincolnshire.

Libraries give society huge benefits - giving people from all walks of life the chance to educate themselves.

They open doors to a world of culture that would otherwise be closed to many. They are a source of valuable information and give citizens access to knowledge to hold those in authority to account.

Some Lincolnshire public services such as DVLA and HMRC offices are being withdrawn under the pretext that people are accessing services online instead of face-to-face. Closure of their local library would cut access to free internet for many people.

Libraries are also one of the last venues with space for local community groups to meet together. Funding cuts caused many community centres to close in recent years.

The council say the current library service is "inefficient" and proposed closures would save the county council 2 million.

But such savings are dwarfed by the billions of bonuses paid out yearly by City of London banks and financial companies.

Public spending only leapt considerably in 2008 when several major banks had to be bailed out after their insatiable hunger for ever-increasing profits caused a crash.

Instead the government's austerity programme wants to roll back the remaining social gains of working class people.

The NHS, comprehensive education, a public library service, all won through working class people's tireless campaigning, are under threat.

We need to fight these cuts with a mass campaign rooted in the communities working alongside our redundancy-threatened library staff to defend the services they deliver as professionals, and oppose their replacement with volunteers.

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In The Socialist 17 July 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

'We've had enough' - All strike together!

Urgent - trade unions must build a political voice for the working class

Fire cuts, pay cuts, pension cuts, job cuts

MPs' pay to rise to 74,000...

Another drugs company scam

G4S tagging scandal: another failure of privatisation

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

USA: Zimmerman, Trayvon and racism

'Black July' - Sri Lanka 1983 and the beginning of civil war


Socialist Party feature

End violence against women!


Socialist Party review

The story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs


Socialist Party workplace news

Lecturers in Wales expose working conditions

Victory for teachers at UEL

Equinox workers strike again

Fight Royal Mail privatisation!

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Greens rejected in Brighton

Bedroom tax non-payment soars in Scotland: Stop evictions

Councils: Don't do the Con-Dems' dirty work!

'Sick Of Your Boss?' week of action reports

Durham Miners' Gala shows mood for new party

Campaigning against anti-LGBT bullying in schools

Lincolnshire - save our libraries

Building the Socialist Party


Readers' comments

Who are the real criminals?


 

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Related links:

Libraries:

triangleBromley Libraries 'restructure' in middle of pandemic!

triangleBradford libraries and museums: Unite members escalate action against cuts

triangleBradford: Workers walk out over council cuts

triangleBromley libraries strikers proved right

triangleBromley strikers - fighting on to save our libraries

Lincolnshire:

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triangleLincolnshire health visitors strike boost

triangleLincolnshire health visitors' solidarity rally

triangleHealth workers strike against 2,000 loss of pay

Library:

triangleVictory for library workers after 241 days on strike!

triangleKeep the National Poetry Library free

triangleBradford library and museum strikers enter third round of strike action

Council:

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

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