OBSERVER: Book your ideas up over libraries


Have you filled in the questionnaire about libraries yet? In an effort to ‘save’ £2 million the county council is looking at closing a number of libraries, but is consulting on what users would like to see happen.

Like all council-inspired consultations, the questions appear to be a little ‘loaded’ in the way they are put; and the main question I would have liked to see – Are you in favour of closing libraries? – is conspicuous by its absence and this leads me to think the decision to close some will be made regardless of what answers are given.

Putting my ‘cynic’ hat on again, I think the exercise is being done to justify even more cuts ‘to save money’ but, as yet, no one has come forward to say what will happen to the money ‘saved’. I was always under the impression that the council tax we pay was to go towards paying for these services which are in danger of being cut, be they the libraries or any other service.

So logic says that if these services are being cut then any savings should be passed to the council tax payer in the form of reduced council tax – but that doesn’t appear to be the case. So if we still pay the same council tax, what happens to the money being ‘saved’? Another case of answers on the back of a stamp please!

And I can’t say I’m really impressed that, according to a national magazine this week, the leader of the county council actually signed the petition in his own ward against the council plan to withdraw funding for their library – then when it was pointed out to him he was going against his own council’s policy, said he hadn’t seen the wording on the petition and thought it was to keep the library open using volunteers!

I always presumed councillors actually read the reports they got before making important decisions.

○Finally, just to show everything isn’t ‘negative’: congratulations to the borough council in actually starting to improve the Central Park. Mind you, it’s not before time!