Opposition to library closures mounts

The proposal to close fifteen libraries in the Belfast area has been met with strong opposition. Hazel Gilliland, who has been campaigning against the closures in Ballymacarrett told the The Socialist that, “the proposals would have a devastating effect. There are no facilities left in the community. Children will grow up without local access to books and the elderly will lose an important place to relax and enjoy a good book.”

Even the Library Authority’s own “Equality Impact Assessment” recognises what Hazel and many others have been saying. Areas with a higher than average young population and a higher than average elderly population will be particularly hard hit.

The “consultation” meetings in East Belfast with seventy people in Cregagh Library and over 50 people in Woodstock Library made clear the opposition that exists. The process was rightly seen as a sham with the areas effected not being given the opportunity to have a consultation meeting at their local library.

NIPSA have also organised several important protests including at Woodstock, which had a large turnout including many young parents with children and migrant workers with placards in their native tongue. These protests should be part of a broader campaign of people power to stop the closures.

Eleven councillors from the main political parties sit on the Library Authority board. Shamefully, board member and UUP East Belfast councillor, Jim Rodgers, who seems happy to see library closures in his own constituency, has not responded to Socialist Party representative Tommy Black’s call for him to publicly justify the cuts. The Socialist Party is actively campaigning on this issue, distributing leaflets and collecting lots of signatures against the closures.

If you want to help out in the campaign, contact Tommy Black on 07936360893.

 

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

Home Help Slander

Next Article

Joe Higgins MEP column

Related Posts

Joe Higgin MEP Reacts to the Brutal Budget

What a damning indictment of the Budget that alcohol was the only stimulus featuring significantly in Finance Minister Lenihan’s economic landscape.

Perhaps the Minister believes that the low paid, the poor and the unemployed, whose living standards he has brutally lacerated, will go and drown their anger and economic pain in slightly lower priced booze instead of fighting back and organising to kick his government out of office.

‘The worst is over’, proclaimed the Minister as he delivered Budget 2010. Then he went on to inflict the most savage cuts ever on the living standards of low to middle income public sector workers and the unemployed while hitting all working people with tax on fuel and cuts in child benefit.

Nigeria on a cliff edge

Sharp working class policies and strategy needed to prevent total ruin

Socially and economically, Nigeria appears set for a rapid race into a bottomless pit. Presently, the impact of several years of pro-rich, anti-people policies adopted and embraced by both the military and civilian sections of the capitalist ruling elite has now driven Nigeria to the brink of an unimaginable social and political disaster. Economically, the sharpest expression of this disaster is the continued and deepening mass poverty, in the midst of abundant resources, with only a tiny proportion of the population (i.e. the top politicians, state officials and their capitalist allies) wallowing in stupendous, but needless, personal wealth.