Speaking towards the end of the debate, Mr Clifton-Brown highlighted the severity of cuts in his constituency, and how Gloucestershire is facing not just a reduction from staffed services to volunteer-run libraries, but also the complete loss of the mobile service.
Addressing Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, he said;
“Could I ask his officials to work with Gloucestershire, to make sure that my County Council is given every possible support, because even a volunteer library requires seed-corn to keep it going”.
We are aware that Mr Clifton-Brown’s constituents have been writing to him on this issue, and are pleased that today he has reflected their views by requesting Mr Vaizey’s intervention. This contrasts with the attitude of some Conservative County Councillors, who despite handing petitions against library cuts from their constituents to Councillor Noble, failed to speak up against these proposals in last week’s County Council debate.
We have been in correspondence with Mr Vaizey’s office on this issue, along with former senior Gloucestershire library staff. We believe there are clear grounds for central government intervention in these plans – not least the complete failure to take account of social impacts and the needs of communities.
The debate can be viewed here http://ht.ly/3JIl7 with Mr Clifton-Brown’s statement at 01:23:38