Councils largest trade union UNISON oppose the city centre first strategy that would see Council run Services reduced in neighbourhoods with key services (Libraries, Children’s Centres, Community Centres, Adult Education Settings) facing closure.
The proposition, outlined in briefest terms in the budget would see Council run Library Service points reduced from 17 to just 5, with 4 hubs operating a service in areas deemed to be of greatest deprivation with the hope that communities will take up the running of others (with no cost to the council).
UNISON has launched a campaign and petition to challenge the budget proposal in order to preserve a high quality fully accountable Public Library Service employing professional, well trained staff.
Dawn Palmer-Ward corporate rep from UNISON said
“Whilst we agree with Cllr Kershaw’s definition of our Library Service as a golden thread running through our communities, it is a thread he and others are willing to unpick, endangering access to books, information, ideas, education and technology. The value of libraries, as centres of the local community, essential for the well-being of young and old is being ignored in the pursuit of the balanced budget. UNISON cannot stand by and allow a lifeline to the community to be decimated”.