Saturday, 26 November 2011

Save our Libraries campaigners give two cheers after council debate

The "Save our Libraries in Wokingham" campaign is not sure whether to celebrate or not after the Conservatives agreed to revisit their decision to outsource the Borough's libraries the private sector.

Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey, who spoke for the campaign at the council meeting which discussed the petition opposing privatisation, said "We were right to be worried about the future of the libraries, because the only example of a council which has handed their library service over to the private sector is turning out to be a disaster. Eight out of 11 libraries there are threatened with closure. That's not what we want in Wokingham."

Anthony Vick, co-founder of the petition, who also spoke at the meeting, said "By getting so many signatures on the petition, we forced the Council to hold a debate. I am pleased that the outcome of that debate was that councillors will be reviewing their decision on libraries, a decision which was made, without any consultation, immediately after the local elections last May. But during the debate it became very clear that the Conservatives were more interested in calling us scaremongerers than in addressing our fears. They must think through the impact their decision would have on libraries, librarians, library services and residents. Libraries are such an important part of our communities. The council must get this right."

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