Saturday, July 30, 2005

More centralisation

According to this report in the Guardian,11032,1539302,00.html

local libraries may be nationalised.

This is a compltely backward step and once again flies in the face of the Government's claim to believe in decentralisation.

Local authorities are perfectly capabalbe of running their local libraries, and local input should play a big role in a successful local library which should be a community asset.

What they do need is investment. For the past few years local authorities have received no money at all to improve library buildings. Imagine how much could have been achieved if all th money that was wasted on the Dome had been invested across the country in local libraries and museums instead.

Until recently I was responsible for libraries in Oxfordshire. We made a lot of improvemenst despite the lack of capital. A key part in that success was because we encourage local librarians to use their initiative and respond to local need.

If the Government goes down the route proposed in their consultant's report it will be a further diminishment of local democracy and our local liberaries will be poorer for it.

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