Save our libraries

Plans to close 15 libraries across Belfast  – a massive 45% cut in library provision – have been announced by the NI Library Authority. East Belfast will be particularly hit hard with libraries at Ballyhackamore, Tullycarnet, Braniel, Woodstock, Ballymacarrett and Gilnahirk facing closure.

 

These local libraries provide a vital service for the community. As well as providing access to books which many people cannot afford to buy, they also provide free internet access for the community. Many voluntary community groups also use meeting room facilities at local libraries. These closures will only leave three libraries for the whole of East Belfast which could now be privatised. People will be forced to travel further distances, causing problems especially for children and older people.

Local community denied a say!
Scandalously, 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. The Library Authority has told the Socialist Party that there will be no meeting for local residents in Ballyhackamore because it is an “un-neutral” location!
These closures are an attack on local communities and should be opposed. Local services which provide much needed support for people, especially the unemployed and elderly, must be defended by local communities.

Politicians closing YOUR library
Eleven councillors representing the DUP, Sinn Fein, UUP and SDLP are on the board of the Library Authority, including East Belfast councillor Jim Rodgers (pictured left), which is proposing to close libraries.

A campaign of people power must be built to stop these closures.

If you agree and want to see a broad community campaign to stop library closures, contact Tommy Black on 02890281580.

Socialist Party – Who we are
The Socialist Party is a cross-community party which campaigns in the common interests of working class people. We have played a crucial role in building the anti-water charges ‘We Won’t Pay’ Campaign which has succeeded in forcing the Government and Assembly Executive to defer water charges for the past four years, saving households hundreds of pounds. We are opposed to the agenda of cuts and privatisation of public services which the right-wing parties in Stormont are implementing. We stand for a united movement of ordinary people to oppose attacks on services such as schools, hospitals, jobs and wages. Wealthy property developers and bankers have enough political representation in the Assembly – we stand for workers MLA’s and MP’s living on a workers wage, committed to fighting for the rights of working class people.

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