Labour parliamentary candidate for North West Leicestershire Jamie McMahon has spoken up on the importance of local libraries. Jamie spoke at Wednesday’s Adults and Communities Scrutiny meeting at County Hall. Jamie called on the Council to make sure its proposed pause on deciding the future of local libraries is meaningful and called on the County Council to recognise the importance of libraries to local people and ensure they are protected.
Four of North West Leicestershire’s six libraries are at risk of closure if the County Council follows through its original proposal to cut support for them and hope the community can take over the running of the library. The County Council’s plans put Castle Donington, Ibstock, Measham and Kegworth Library at threat.
The County Council report to the 19th September Cabinet meeting recommends that a decision on the future of libraries is delayed until November while the Council relooks at the basis made for identifying the libraries set for funding cuts. Jamie has welcomed this decision and continues to call on the Council to consider more than just usage when deciding the future of libraries. The Council is also set to look again at the package of support available for communities who take over the running of their library.
In his speech to Wednesday’s Scrutiny meeting Labour parliamentary candidate Jamie McMahon said:
“If the policy of the County Council is followed through without amendment it puts four of North West Leicestershire’s six libraries at risk. The loss of these libraries would have an irreversible impact on local communities and local people.”
“Libraries not only serve the purpose of lending books, they reach out to the community. They provide computer access to those who cannot at home. They put on events and clubs which support local children to learn and thrive.”
“The County Council is not empowering local communities to run libraries, that option is already in law. It is forcing community delivery of services as a do or die option.”
“Let’s not throw away great social hubs for our community that we can improve with the County’s leadership.”
A full copy of Jamie’s speech can be found here.