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Whatever happened to our Library Service?

by jackdavies on 11 March, 2017

 

In the run up to the elections to Hampshire County Council in May 2013, the Conservatives pledged “To protect our Library and Museum Services”.

So what have the Conservatives done with our Library Service they pledged to protect?

Well, in November 2015 Conservative-led Hampshire County Council published its Library Strategy to 2020.

In this strategy, the Conservatives:

  1. Axed the Mobile Library Service
  2. Cut the Book Fund by £2 million over 4 years
  3. Threatened 20 Community Libraries with closure

Liberal Democrats opposed the axing of the Mobile Library Service arguing that the savage cuts would push libraries into a spiral of decline.

In 2014/15, the County Council estimated the cost of the Mobile Library Service at £360,000. The number of active members who used that service was estimated to be 2,230.

In scrapping the Mobile Library Service, the Conservatives hoped to replace it with a Home Library Service. However, at less than 830 active members and at a cost of £117,000 a year, it is hard to see how this will make any meaningful impact on the people who will lose their Mobile Library Service.

All in all, the Conservatives promised to protect our Library Service. They’ve failed us.

In May, let’s deliver Real Change.

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