by Ian Shires on 13 March, 2017
You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
Came across a Tory leaflet over the weekend; first we’d seen for a long time here in the north Willenhall area. Now I wouldn’t normally comment about such a rare event as this but, as well as being very personal in that they are blaming me for something which is of their own making, it’s also full of inaccurate information.
What am I referring to? They make the claim that they had a proposal last year to save New Invention Library and that we voted against it in last year’s Budget Debate back in February 2016. Sure we did vote against the Tory Budget last year, a budget which included the closure of New Invention Library. There was no alternative Tory plan to save our library in their budget proposals last year. The reason the library didn’t close last year was because we put forward a viable proposal to save and Labour supported us.
When the subject of library cuts came up at this year’s Budget Debate, the Tories offered up no alternatives to our proposals even though for the first hour or more of the debate the Labour/Lib Dem administration were in a minority.
Yes that’s right, back in February of this year the Tories could have put forward proposals to save libraries and would have won the vote as one of the Labour Councillors had been held up by Storm Doris and didn’t arrive in the Council Chamber till almost 7.30 pm.
As for their idea last year of transferring the books to a local school to run a book exchange accessible to local residents, it was always a non starter as that would lead to safeguarding children issues.
As well as that important point the current location of the library at The Square shopping precinct would still be closed and the community groups who still use it would have to find somewhere else to hold their meetings. As it stands the Labour/Lib Dem Budget decision to reluctantly close down the library was accompanied by offers of help to community groups to run the service at no cost to the council.
I’m pleased to say that meetings are already taking place with volunteers who not only want to help run the library space but to bring into use the acres of space currently unused over the shops.
I think that the thing that galls me most about this spiteful missive from the Tories is that they think that by jumbling up a series of statements taken out of context they can hoodwink local residents into thinking that we would have taken this decision to close our library just for the hell of it.
Believe me we did not come into local politics to shut stuff down. If we could have found another of covering the £86 million worth of austerity cuts being imposed by the Tory Government over the next four years we would have found it.3 Comments