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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 January 2018

Kirklees council opens consultation of library services

Books, photo Rodrigo Galindez (Creative Commons)

Books, photo Rodrigo Galindez (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Matt Hirst, Huddersfield Socialist Party

For the third year running, Kirklees council is looking to make cuts to its library services. A further 1.9 million is to be cut from the library services budget for 2018-19.

With many outlying libraries already staffed and run by volunteers, people are scratching their heads at how much more library services can be cut.

In Milnsbridge where I live, we used to have a library, and there still is a library building, with artwork on the outside promoting reading - however no books are to be found inside.

The next closest library to me, in Golcar, is fully run by volunteers, giving their spare time and knowledge to run the library, as they understand the importance and need for a library in outlying villages.

They don't just provide books and education for the people, but a place to hold groups for the community come together.

Huddersfield is a Labour-run council so the torrent of cuts on this particular service is hard to stomach.

The council has opened an online-only consultation and is giving the following choices on the type of body the library service would be going forward:

1. Remaining as a service within the council

2. The library service is set up as a company, but remains owned by the council

3. The library services leave the councils ownership and is set up as a trust, with potential employee ownership

4. Outsourced - owned by an external company, and they retain the profits

5. Joint Venture - external investment into the library services, with the external companies retaining ownership and or control of the services

Huddersfield Socialist Party is imploring all Kirklees residents to voice their opinion through this consultation, and demand that the council refuses to continue to implement cuts set by budgets from central government and instead set a needs budget.

The council can also make use of its reserves and prudent borrowing powers to fund the services that its residents need.

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In The Socialist 24 January 2018:


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The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Kirklees:

triangleKirklees: Labour and Green councillors refuse to fight the cuts

triangleKirklees bin workers' strike forces management back

triangleSummer of discontent on the cards in Huddersfield bin workers' dispute

triangleBin workers take strike action after talks with Kirklees council collapse

triangleUnison ballots workers at Yorkshire hospitals at risk of privatisation

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

triangleBromley libraries strikers proved right

Council:

triangleNottingham City Council: The (mis)adventures of Robin Hood Energy

triangleGrenfell fire inquiry stops victims attending

triangleCaerphilly lockdown puts profits before safety

Huddersfield:

triangleLaunch of Huddersfield Women's Lives Matter

triangleHuddersfield Socialist Party: '12 years to save the world' - A socialist answer to climate change

Cuts:

triangleDover: Solidarity with refugees - applause and cheers for socialist ideas to unite working class

Libraries:

triangleBromley Libraries 'restructure' in middle of pandemic!

Budget:

triangleLeeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

Government:

triangleCovid-19 pandemic increases financial pressures on Welsh local government

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