In spite of all of our best efforts over the past year and the many representations made to Gloucestershire County Council, local representatives and MPs, on Friday GCC announced that they would be going ahead with their stringent cuts to the Gloucestershire Library service.
Little has changed in their plans, from those that were declared ‘unlawful’ and ‘bad government’ in the High Court last year.
This means that Minchinhampton, along with six other Libraries, will no longer be part of the Statutory Library Provision provided by GCC and as such, communities will be forced to fund, organise, manage and run a library they already pay council tax for.
We believe that these will not be libraries in the true sense, as they will be non-statutory, undemocratic and unsustainable.
Whilst we ackowledge the need to make cuts, we do not agree with the way in which GCC has chosen to implement them, nor the disproportionate amounts required. There are other ways.
The Gloucestershire Library Service, costing only 1% of the GCC budget and already cut to the bone by savings of 1.73 million implemented since 2009, and now facing an additional 1.8 million worth of cuts (making the savings nearly 40% of the Library budget) will be irretrievably damaged.
In short, the administration at Shire hall, has yet again failed to listen to and understand the needs and concerns of the very public it was elected to serve. The next County Council elections take place in 2013!!
Below you will find responses from Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries to the consultation findings and the report on the new strategy.
If you wish to see the findings from the consultation, as well as the report going to cabinet on Thursday, do follow these links:
1. FoGL Press Release written by Johanna & John in response to Vector’s newly published report ‘Libraries Consultation – Library Service Strategy’ Click Here
2. Media Release, written on 2nd April 2012 by John Holland of FoGL, on GCCs ‘new’ library strategy: Click Here
3. GCC ‘New’ Library Strategy. Please note that this is a large document and may take a while to download. Click Here