Last week you gave substantial space to Coun David Baker to advance theLibDem’s case against library closures. There are two issues here.
The first is the need to deny the consequences of their own Government’s actions, a Government which has imposed an irresponsible level and speed of cuts in public funding. So, necessarily, it is the LibDems who are the deficit deniers.
The second issue is the iconic status that libraries hold. But in my experience as a local authority chief executive, when we closed libraries, in the campaigns against closure, no-one ever mentioned books. The importance of libraries is as community spaces and information points. That doesn’t have to come at the expense of a full-blown library service. Much can be done with some building space, the internet and free wi-fi.
I do regret that the current review wasn’t conducted on a wider framework of the entire public buildings estate, but surely everyone has to accept that the library service’s budget has to be cut back.
David Baker, wilfully or ignorantly, muddles up revenue and capital spending in his quip about Park Hill flats. The LibDems would do well to take as their starting point in this argument the unfair level of cuts imposed by their Government on our city.
Phil Coppard OBE