We have just heard that the Cabinet has approved the proposals to drastically cut library services, despite overwhelming public opposition to the scale and delivery of the cuts, which we believe are in breach of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964. We now demand the Department for Culture, Media and Sport conduct an inquiry into these closures and cuts for the following reasons:
- The council has failed to make an assessment of local needs
- There are specific needs for adults that have not been addressed in the review
- The Council is not able to demonstrate that it has had due regard to the general requirements of children
- The decision has been made without a clear understanding of the extent and range of services delivered through libraries
- The Council’s decision, which is better described as an indication of intent rather than a fully worked up plan, is a partial response to need that would disadvantage isolated and deprived communities
- There is an absence of an adequate plan for and commitment to a comprehensive outreach service
- The Council has displayed a lack of logic around why some facilities were recommended for closure and not others
Visit your local branch library tomorrow as part of Save Libraries Day, show the council that you need and love your library service. Write to the council and newspapers, complain to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Join the Save Doncaster Libraries campaign to help us continue to fight against these cuts and closures. We are an inclusive, non-Political group of people from many parts of Doncaster, and need as many people as we can to oppose this mindless destruction.
Despite SDL presenting the council with a petition containing over 14,000 signatures, the council has refused to give the public a full debate. We believe this is in breach of the democratic process and will be complaining to the local government ombudsman.
Doncaster is a struggling town with a failed council. It needs its libraries more than ever, and this devastating package of cuts can only serve to further limit the libraries’ and the council’s ability to improve literacy, wellbeing, social cohesion, a sense of community and civic pride. The council should be ashamed of themselves for showing so little regard to the needs of their citizens and such contempt to the views of the people of Doncaster.