Libraries are more important than offices

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On Wednesday, November 20, I attended a council run meeting to discuss the future of Ecclesfield Library.

The council say they need to make substantial cuts in their budget and therefore cutbacks in the library service are necessary. But now we hear that they have agreed to spend an additional £0.5 million on council offices in Burngreave. This is in addition to the £1.2 million spent over the last two years and £330,000 which has already been committed in this financial year. Their management of our city’s finances is, in my opinion, shambolic and the libraries are an easy target.

The meeting they ‘organised’ in Ecclesfield was not well publicised and there were far fewer there than the residents’ meeting I arranged the previous week, where local people expressed their concerns about the library’s future and how much it is valued.

It does make me wonder if this lack of publicity about the council’s meeting was because it was nothing more than a box ticking exercise.

They can then say that they consulted with the residents, before they wield the axe (like they have done with Don Valley Stadium, in spite of a groundswell of opinion against its demolition).

My main point is that libraries are more important than office makeovers. It’s about time the council sorted out its priorities and invested in libraries, rather than spending this money on half-empty office blocks.

Colin Taylor

East Ecclesfield