Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

No library closed under Lib Dem leadership – Farron

Self-service terminals are being installed at Chichester Library

Last year, more than 40 libraries were closed by Conservative and Labour councils. In stark contrast, for the second year in a row, no Liberal Democrat-controlled council in England and Wales closed any library.

Liberal Democrat-controlled Cardiff is opening five new libraries and Portsmouth and Bristol are also opening new libraries.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Party President, Tim Farron said:

“While Conservatives and Labour councils their budgets without regard for the most vulnerable, Liberal Democrat-controlled councils know how to protect essential services.

“Encouraging and enabling reading is vital to the development of children and adults alike. If we don’t give our children the opportunity to practice and perfect their reading skills at a young age, they will struggle to catch up later in life.

“Libraries are a life-line for local communities, especially for those who are less well off, and give people the opportunity to relax, learn new information and skills or to use the internet if they don’t have it at home.

“Cutting services like Labour and Tory councils are doing will do long-term damage. Liberal Democrats are doing the right thing thanks to our financial competency in the councils we run. That is also the reason why not only have Liberal Democrat councils kept libraries open, but councils in England have also frozen council tax and are most likely to be giving the lowest-paid council workers a pay rise.”

  1. Please find an overview of library closures below:
Local Authority Control Closures
Leeds Lab 13
Brent Lab 6
Bolton Lab 5
Warwickshire Con 3
Doncaster Ind 2
Flintshire Ind 2
Hartlepool Lab/Ind 2
Manchester Lab 2
Waltham Forest Lab 1
Barnet Con 1
Bradford Lab 1
Cumbria Con/Lab 1
Lambeth Lab 1
Lewisham Lab 1
North Somerset Con 1
Shropshire Con 1
Westminster Con 1

 

  1. According to the Office of National Statistics, only 77% of households had access to the internet in 2011. Nearly a third of those without internet access, stated that the reason was that access or equipment costs were too high.
  1. Only 45% of adults without qualifications had used the internet in 2010, compared to 97% of adults educated to degree level or higher – according to figures from the ONS.
  1. All Liberal Democrat Councils in England have frozen their Council Tax and according to the Local Government Chronicle, Liberal Democrat-run councils were more than twice as likely to give the lowest paid workers a pay rise compared to Labour, and five times more likely than Conservative run councils.