Thursday, 24 March 2011

Oxfordshire County Council in semi u-turn on libraries

The BBC reports:

Plans to cut funding to a specific number of libraries in Oxfordshire have been "torn up", according to council leader Keith Mitchell.

In November, the conservative-led administration said money for nearly half of the public libraries could be axed under budget cuts.

But now Mr Mitchell has said: "We've got a little bit more money so we take a little bit more time."

You can read the Oxford Times report on this story here. 

While the news that the council has torn up its closure plans is undoubtedly welcome, the battle to keep our libraries open as council-run, professionally staffed libraries, is not over yet.

Keith Mitchell is still talking about the possibility of  'volunteers' running libraries and he says that privatisating the library network (the council has been in talks with the American company LSSI), remains an option.
Still, his tone is rather different to the one he adopted on the libraries issue back in November. Could it be that there are local elections coming up, by any chance?!!

Save Botley Library’s Neil Clark can be heard talking about the council’s semi-U- turn, on Radio Oxford’s Drive Time programme here. The interview with Neil starts at around 1 hour 7 minutes into the programme. 

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