Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/799/18180
From The Socialist newspaper, 19 February 2014
Medway council will "rue the day" they attacked our library
Over 60 people attended a public meeting in Strood, one of the Medway towns in Kent, on 15 February to discuss the next moves in a grassroots campaign to save the local library.
Medway council has ignored a 5,000-name petition and brushed aside large protests outside two council meetings.
Faced with this intransigence, local campaigners, with Socialist Party members involved, have pledged to step up their public profile through protests, pickets and a demonstration through the towns.
Addressing the packed meeting, Marion Shoard, writer and lecturer, said: "We have a superb library. Losing the library and Strood Community Project is a double act of vandalism.
"The council have misled us and are just not listening." She urged residents to make their voices heard.
Kim West, manager of the Strood Community Project, which has now been evicted from the High Street to make way for a downsized and relocated 'community hub', said: "This decision has been rushed through with no public consultation.
An outstanding charity shop with a footfall of over 300 people a day, providing support for vulnerable people, has been brushed aside, in favour of the policy to develop community hubs. This amounts to cuts in frontline services."
A steering committee was set up to coordinate future action. 30 protesters picketed the council on 17 February and a lobby is planned of the council's budget setting meeting on 20 February at 6.30pm at the St George's Centre, Chatham.
Medway Council will rue the day they decided to ignore 5,000 local residents. Public libraries were created as centres of recreation and learning, not as secondary outlets for downgraded and overstretched council services.
Donate to the Socialist Party
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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 19 February 2014:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Floods chaos: End cuts now!
Floods reveal rottenness of government cuts
High rents + low wages - End this housing misery
Scotland: 'Project Fear' goes into overdrive
Affordable childcare? And where are the jobs?
Barclay's bonuses - laughing all the way to the bank
Them & Us
International socialist news and analysis
Bosnia: mass protests show potential of working class
Socialist Party workplace news
Doncaster care workers vote for seven-day strike
Care worker action escalates in Glasgow
Runcorn: Workers' solidarity scores victory
Newham primary school strike over new pay scheme
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Time to strike the bedroom tax a killer blow
Service users "terrified" by cuts in Worcester
Kent: Marching to save children's centres
Anti-cuts councillor exposes devastating cuts plans
Councils pass on Tory pain
Medway council will "rue the day" they attacked library
Fast Food Rights day of action
Stop the deportation of Jermaine Strachen
Socialist Party conferences prepare for year ahead
The Socialist readers' comments
Working nights is bad for your health
Cuts make the job impossible
Cycling deaths must be stopped
'Criminal' waste and 'legal' waste
Campaign against "Lobbying Bill"
The Socialist 19 February 2014 |
Join the Socialist
| PDF | ebook