Ealing Council Announces Proposal to Cut Library Services! Help! Let's Invigorate the Campaign!
Jan 10, 2019 —
Ealing Council recently posted on its website a report which is proposing major changes to neighbourhood services including Ealing’s Libraries and children’s centres. These proposals will be discussed at the Cabinet meeting at Ealing Town Hall on Tuesday 15th January 7.00 pm.
Local Ealing residents/ library petitioners have been waiting for a decision about the long term fate of its 13 public libraries, in the wake of last January’s (2018) Carillion demise and the Council’s intervention to bring all 13 libraries back in-house, following a very determined and high profile Save Ealing Libraries from Being Outsourced campaign, initiated by me. Ealing Council argues that it is under unprecedented pressure by the Government, due a reduction of 64% funding (£143 m), to make severe cuts to its services. While this is undeniable why should lifesaving services like our Libraries and Children Centres have to be guillotined?
As the document is long and, in parts complex, I have attached the diagrammatic summary (provided in the doc) of the key elements of the proposed strategies for libraries and children’s centres.
It is terrible news for everyone in Ealing who cares about Libraries. The facts are startling! More than half the staff are likely to lose their jobs, which will have a major negative impact on families, children and young people, in particular, those from vulnerable groups, including the elderly, children in need and at risk, people with disabilities and mental health struggles, among others.
There is ample evidence available to show how in other boroughs’ community libraries, although volunteers run them with good intentions, sadly provide an inadequate service (http://www.publiclibrariesnews.com/campaigning/volunteer-run-libraries/cons; http://www.publiclibrariesnews.com/
Please see the summary below and the chart attached. You can also access the full document via this link https://www.dropbox.com/s/dx2wgjq9tnmwogb/Agenda%20Document%20Pack%20-%20Cabinet%20-%2015_01_2019%2019_00_00.pdf?dl=0
The campaign must continue to Save our Libraries and Librarian’s Jobs so please please help to Spread the Word amongst your contacts in the hope that we can make Ealing Council reconsider once again. As Benjamin Zephaniah poignantly and audibly stated last year, “When you save libraries you are saving lives!”
The major strategic shift in the Strategy is to:
• Consolidate the library service through 6 libraries directly run by the council; in addition, the Council is aiming to deliver 7 community managed libraries to ensure coverage across the 7 designated Neighbourhoods. This will include;
Ø A new central library in Ealing with good transport links for all Ealing residents,
Ø Town Centre/Neighbourhood libraries and Local Branch libraries to meet the needs of communities in the most deprived areas.
• Provide the opportunity for co-produced libraries through a community managed library offer in the least deprived areas of the borough in partnership with the community and other partners.
• Keep the current extended study opening hours in Acton, Ealing Central and Southall Libraries from April to June.
• Reduce opening hours across the library offer so that services are open when they are most needed and closed when they are not.
• Retain the home library service as a commissioned service through the voluntary sector.
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