The Oxford Times reports:
Oxfordshire County Council's decision to withdraw funding from 20 libraries could increase the risk of isolation among the county’s elderly.
This is the conclusion in a report by the county council’s own officers.
The warning is contained in an assessment of the impact of £119m of county council spending cuts that were approved last week.
The council is required by law to carry out and publish these assessments. In their assessment of the impact of withdrawing funding for 20 of the county’s 43 libraries council officers say: “There is a great risk that the loss of suburban and rural libraries could contribute towards a greater isolation for older people.”
The report on libraries is dated January 17, 2011, and was considered by councillors before they approved the county’s budget last week.