Library cut ‘concerning’

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LABOUR leader Ed Miliband has paid tribute to his party’s group on Doncaster Council for its efforts to protect libraries.

Mr Miliband told The Star he thought planned cuts to the libraries were hugely concerning and backed the efforts of councillors on Doncaster Council.

The majority group on the council, Labour says it demanded a stay of execution for the 14 libraries threatened with closure as a condition of passing Mayor Peter Davies’ budget last month.

Mr Miliband said: “Under a very difficult financial settlement from the Conservative-led government in Westminster, the Labour Group, as the main opposition group in the council, have done a great deal to lobby for important measures such as retaining moderate care support in adult social care, keeping home care fees as low as possible and giving the 14 libraries that were threatened with closure a reprieve.

“Cuts to our libraries are hugely concerning. I believe libraries are an essential part of our lives, and of our country’s social fabric.

“They are places where community is built, where local families get to know each other and form lasting friendships.

“The principle of free access to information - and to books - for everyone, regardless of their economic circumstances, is the mark of a good society.”

He said he was also concerned over reductions in police numbers and increases in the price of school meals.

Speaking during a visit to Morrisons on York Road, he added: “We accept that some reductions need to be made to reduce the national deficit. We’ve already said we will support some of the welfare reforms, for example.

“But the Conservative-led government in Westminster are cutting too deep, too fast, for ideological reasons - and damaging communities like ours in Doncaster on the altar of deficit reduction.”