Text of a Bradford Socialist Party ‘Save Our Libraries’ leaflet
The future of 12 libraries across the Bradford district lies in the balance, as part of around £61m worth of cuts passed by the council at its budget setting meeting in February. This would be a reduction of a half of full-time libraries across the district—another victim of the Tory government’s savage cuts which Labour-led Bradford Council are implementing.
The council had originally planned to fully staff just seven—the city centre plus Keighley, Manningham, Shipley, Ilkley, Bingley and Eccleshill.
Under pressure from campaigners, the budget was amended with funding to fully staff Wibsey, Laisterdyke and Wyke, whilst Baildon and Clayton will be partially staffed, with other hours being covered by unpaid volunteers.
The Socialist Party believes libraries are vital community resources, especially used by families with young children. It is vital that these services are provided by fully trained staff, not let to the mercies of whether enough people can volunteer to run services.
These services should not be sacrificed on the altar of austerity to help fund tax cuts for the wealthy and boost the profits of major corporations. We believe that the council should be resisting the cuts to its funding, not doing the Tories dirty work of attacking local communities jobs and services.
The £218 million the council holds in useable reserves must be utilised as a first step to building a mass campaign to challenge the government’s cuts.