Messages of support

As well as the overwhelming support from members of the public which we have encountered whilst out and about collecting signatures for the county-wide petition, Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries are delighted to have received messages of support from:

Authors and celebrities

Former Gloucestershire senior library staff

and

Politicians and public figures

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13 Responses to Messages of support

  1. Pingback: Gloucestershire again

  2. Emma Delaney says:

    Hear hear. Very well stated arguments from John and friends.

  3. This all looks like a very deliberate attempt to force “Friends of….. ” libraries to adopt or take over things. Ed Vaizey and his civil servants have been deliberately minimalist in their comments on the Museums and Libraries Act. I think both Hawthorne and Vaizey have to be smoked out. Find your ways……

  4. Ian Anstice says:

    North Yorkshire has announced 24 library closures and a culling of most of its mobile libraries- this makes Gloucestershire only the second most drastic cuts nationally. North Yorks info is at

    http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/8676734.OAP_homes_and_libraries_face_closure_threat/#commentsList

    Around 145 UK libraries have been earmarked for closure or giving away since 20th October.

    Get your friends angry.

  5. Chris says:

    Hi

    Have emailed several councillors and MP’s – a few have responded and other have said they will in due course (which is fair enough). My general impression is that the ‘party line’ from those supporting the cuts is as follows:
    1. There is ‘no option’
    2. They’re not really cuts, things will in some way be better when volunteers run things.
    On the one hand the public at large do not appreicate the impact of the proposed changes, but also some are not willing to listen because they believe the message that cuts are inevitable. This idea seems to be in some way quite pervasive amongst the general public, which is understandable I guess if you watch news stories about the situation in Ireland etc.
    My own feeling is that if we want to generate a real campaign against these proposals we must first be consistent and try to get across the following message:
    1. We are realists, we accept that the Library service must save money but the changes being proposed are “too fast and too far”
    2. There has been no ‘pilot’ to test the claims that the service will be better, and there is no real evidence to back this up
    3. The idea that there is ‘no option’ is simply untrue – the current library service is an asset both in terms of it’s staff, premises and resources
    4. And that therefore our argument is that the Council must assess all options properly and provide full information before proceeding
    What do others feel our message should be? And how do we think we may get this across – should we organise sessions outside the libraries that are proposed to change so that we can convey information to the wider public?

    • Thanks Chris,
      We are building a page to map Cllrs responses. If you want to forward any you have had please do to foc.cheltlib@gmail.com
      Will you be attending our meeting this evening? I hope so. All the points you have made echo the conversations we have been having. We have been approached by many different people and community groups requesting that we combine efforts to oppose GCC’s plans because – yes, cuts are being enforced by central government but as you say the councils plans for libraries are extreme and disproportionate. We are drawing up a county-wide petition for an independent review into the proposals and a proper consultation process. We also plan to take to the streets and visit all of the libraries to convey what the proposals actually mean. Many people do not know what is meant by a “link” or “express” library – in fact a lady from the Cotswolds told me there is no visible information in her library anywhere. The council are also being dishonest when they quote Buckinghamshire volunteer run library as a successful example because what GCC propose is entirely different. (I had a long 2 hour chat with one of the people that runs the library in Bucks). We believe we can easily collect a higher response than the 0.86% of the population that responded to the councils “consultation” and so discredit their claims that they have a mandate to do this. If you want to get involved with any of this please do.
      Johanna

  6. Francis Barton says:

    I posted the following comment on the GCC Consultation website:

    “Closing libraries will have a significant impact on society as a whole. As an individual I am unlikely to be directly affected, but we will all be affected by this philistinical response. I care not only about myself but about the culture and priorities of the society in which I live. Libraries are the mark of a civilised society and they must be protected. They are not particularly expensive to run and the fact that GCC seems to want to cut them so gleefully and excessively reflects very badly on councillors and their priorities. Trained librarians are essential for a satisfactory service to run, that can safeguard and improve access to books and resources for the young, the old and everyone else too. Enthusiastic volunteers – if there even are any – will not be able to replace the professionals.”

    • Demelza says:

      Hi Francis – that’s a great comment. You may have already, but if not can I suggest you also email/put this in a letter to Councillors Noble and Hawthorne. The more of us who contact them directly with our concerns the harder it will be for them not to listen!

  7. Councillor Mike Skinner says:

    I sent the following message to Mark Hawthorne yesterday:-
    Mark,
    Having been to the Hucclecote Centre and listened to your proposals again I did a few sums on the likely additional pollution and increase in road use caused by say a 10% shift from using a local library on foot to using a central library by car, for the 11 libraries facing major changes in service (even if not closed.). Say an average travel distance of 7 miles there & back, it comes to about 500,000 miles extra road travel by car. Over the next four years, that’s about 2 million miles. At 40 miles to the gallon that’s about 50,000 gallons of fuel! Apart from the road wear, accidents etc, the cost to the road user in fuel alone is over £250,000.
    The cost to the ‘environment’ is pretty big. Is this what you meant when you were quoted as saying in the Echo “going the extra mile for the environment” in the 10:10 award ceremony? ”

    He hasn’t replied yet!!

    Mike.

  8. Miss Angela Gibson says:

    I go to Bourton, Stow and Moreton libraries. As I am disabled and cannot walk far, the only way to get toStow library is either early on Saturday mornings or wait until the visitors have gone home and I can find a place to park. I don’t have a problem with both Moreton and Bourton as I can park there. If they close these two then either we will have two thirds extra people visiting or they will be unable to get to Stow. As for a virtual library, what is it? I do hope the re-consider

    • demelzajade says:

      Thanks for your comment Angela. We have met lots of people facing similar issues whilst out campaigning across the county. If you haven’t done so already, can I suggest you write to your local councillor, MP and the local paper with your concerns, as well as completing the county council’s online consultation exercise. If you would like to join the mailing list and be kept up to date with the campaign please email foc.cheltlib@gmail.com

  9. Jill Hulley says:

    Particularly interested in knowing what’s going on in Hester Ways. Keep up the great work.

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