East Belfast Councillor challenged to justify library closures

Jim Rodgers (Right), the Ulster Unionist Party councillor for East Belfast and a board member of the Northern Ireland Library Authority was today challenged to “publicly justify the closure of local libraries” proposed in a current consultation paper. Tommy Black, East Belfast Socialist Party representative said “Eleven councillors from the four main political parties are on the board of the Library Authority which is proposing the closure of fifteen libraries throughout Belfast, including six in East Belfast.”  

“The people of East Belfast are entitled to know why Cllr Rodgers has remained silent on the threat to close our libraries. These facilities not only provide the public with books but also internet access and meeting rooms for the community. The Socialist Party is challenging Cllr Rodgers as a member of the board of NI Library Authority to publicly justify the closure of local libraries.”

Mr. Black added “The so-called consultation carried out by the Library Authority is nothing but a sham exercise. There will be no genuine consultation with local communities. For instance, the Library Authority has told Socialist Party members that there will be no meeting for local residents in Ballyhackamore because it is an “un-neutral” location!”

“There is major opposition to any closure of libraries. A campaign based in the communities can fight to save all library services. People power can stop the closures.”

 

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