I am writing to you in response to the many comments from the council about the number of community groups who wish to run libraries.
This is disingenuous, if not a misrepresentation of the facts.
Any groups trying to save libraries from closure are effectively forced into submitting a business plan for that library.
Failing to submit a business plan would mean the library being earmarked for closure.
In all the cases that I am aware of, a business plan has been submitted in a bid to keep the library open, while a campaign to save it in a sustainable way is undertaken.
The council proposals, are entirely unworkable.
An independent library would lose its most valuable assets, the skills of a trained librarian, the ability to share books with other libraries and its connection to the People’s Network.
Any group taking over a library as an independent would have to raise tens of thousands of pounds a year and manage a pool of volunteers.
The examples that the council have used as models for independent libraries bear no resemblance to the proposals they have put forward; being predominantly small libraries in wealthy rural locations and all getting substantial funding from their councils.
This is in stark contrast to the council proposals which state that independent libraries would be “without council support or funding”.
People need a fair and practicable set of proposals to work with. These proposals are neither.
Dr Neil Davis