“Mobile Libraries an Unnecessary Luxury” – Turkdean Parish Council

We are disappointed to have received the following message from Turkdean Parish Council.

Turkdean Parish will not be supporting your Petition opposing cuts in the Library Service.We have benefited from the Mobile Service but following discussions regarding the necessary reductions in costs for Gloucestershire CC we agreed that the Mobile Service is a luxury which can no longer be afforded and indeed is no longer necessary.  Concentrating resources on the finer Library provision would be most appropriate and realistic course.

It would be interesting to know if the 10,600 petitioners actually used the library services in the last year.

We have been out across the county talking with thousands of people who have expressed concerns about the cuts to the library services. Many people are not in the position to consider the mobile service a “luxury”, to them it is a lifeline. As for the question “how many of the petitioners actually used the library services last year”. Well, last year there were 3 million visits to Gloucestershire Libraries recorded alone. We think this is not insignificant and so yes, many of the people who signed the petition are likely to have used the service or know people to whom the service is important. We are also receiving emails and letters daily from people who are distraught this lifeline might be taken away from them. It is unthinkable that a rural county the size of Gloucestershire is set to scrap ALL of it’s mobile services.  Of course, it is up to the Parish Councils whether they support us or not but ultimately it is the electorate the politicians will be answerable to. I hope they are listening to them – as we are.

If you live in the Turkdean area and are worried about the plans to scrap the library services we urge to write to your councillors with your concerns. You can find out who they are on this write to them website.

The Parish Council say that this is the response from Turkdean residents – more specifically library users. Astonishing. The councils consultation process has not even finished yet. I wonder how many people they asked and how they collected this data.

I asked the Parish Council Clerk how they had collected the data from the Parish and pointed out our concerns.  I received this shocking response and she informed me that I had been blocked from contacting her again

You really do have an attitude problem and also have completely misinterpreted the information you have been given.

The response is made for the Parish as requested, not on behalf of the County

We have our own ”big society“ in this village and look after others and our village.

We sweep our own road, spread our own salt, clear rainwater drains and benefit from refuse collection service and mobile library.  The latter is barely used   Personally I give books away and also let others use my computer – some people give and others take – that is life.

“All right jack” no we are not but we will find a way of coping with the cuts in services which the County Council has to make.  I suggest you take a long walk in the rain over a big hill before your write a further tirade.

Any correspondence I have sent to the Parish Council Clerk is available to anyone who wants to see it. I can assure you it was perfectly polite and it certainly was not a “tirade”. I am shocked and wonder if Turkdean Parish Council are aware of the conduct of the person speaking on their behalf.

To add a bit of balance we have published a letter from 10 year old Mily Newton who wrote to us telling us why mobile libraries are so important to her. Read it here

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5 Responses to “Mobile Libraries an Unnecessary Luxury” – Turkdean Parish Council

  1. John Dougherty says:

    The idea that your view on a service is only significant if you’ve used it in the last year is ridiculous. I’ve never used Meals on Wheels, but can see why it’s essential. I’ve never used a maternity ward in Gloucestershire; does that mean that if the council wanted to close them all down my view would be considered irrelevant? I’ve never used the fostering or adoption services; never needed a brain scan; never drawn a pension; never had to call the Gloucestershire police.

    I would, however, like to know how many of the councillors in favour of these cuts – at Parish as well as County level – use the library service. I suspect many of them believe that since they don’t use it, everyone should be able to get by without it. If our representatives are supporting cuts from ignorance and lack of empathy, we deserve to know.

    John

  2. Sarah says:

    Jo and John, your comments are absolutely correct. Turkdean Parish Council’s comments are downright rude – before cutting any essential service, should they not be able to tell us how many people have used the service from their own research and consultations, and thus produce evidence to prove it is a ‘luxury’ that can’t be afforded? Throwing a petition back in the face of 10600 respondents in this way is wrong. With all the cuts to services and frontline staff across the country, I find that I keep asking myself why it has to be that libraries, charitable organisations, nurses, police etc etc that have to be the ones to go, or lose funding. Have these councils actually bothered to look elsewhere and properly investigate where savings could be made and new income could be generated?

    Keep up the good work!!
    @Sarahbrarian

  3. I have since been told that the author of the letter is a huge reader but buys her books online and gets all her information on there too. Well, that is a luxury many do not have access to

  4. Carlin says:

    Turksdean Parish Council, I have just read your letter to friends of Glos libraries. You are in a very fortunate position to own a computer and have the funds to be able to pay for your books from amazon not all of us are in that position and find libraries a lifeline. Particularly the mobile library which in our rural area is heavily used by elderly people and families who cannot get to the nearest library IT IS NOT A LUXURY, you are very privileged to be in the position you are and have the funds and facilities you do so I would hope you would give consideration to people who have no transport,are not very mobile and do not have the money I am disgusted by your attitude

  5. Did Turkdean parish council make sure they went round the route of the mobile service and actually consulted all the people who do use the service, including I would imagine, the housebound, elderly or infirm as well as families, children, young people? If not they have missed the point entirely.

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