In response to Councillor David Baker’s motion opposing the Labour Council’s library closures, I was astonished to see Councillor Mazher Iqbal calling for campaigners to “take the politics out of the library issue.” (The Star, Oct 3)
As Councillor Baker rightly highlighted, the library closures - which will save £1.6 million a year according to the council - are clearly being motivated by political spite rather than a fair division of library resources across the city.
All but one of the library’s being saved under the current plans fall within Labour areas of the city, and Sheffield Hallam is facing a devastation of its library services out of spite towards Nick Clegg.
The rhetoric of national cuts leading to the library closures being unavoidable is extremely disingenuous.
In light of increases in parking charges in the city, and the considerable council tax revenues paid by city residents, the decision to close any libraries is a disgrace.
As Nick Clegg highlighted, only Ecclesall is to keep its council funding in the Hallam constituency, compared with 10 elsewhere (The Star, 18th Oct) - residents in Hallam are being told that if they want Library services, they’ll have to provide them themselves, as their council taxes are being put to better use.
Library services are one of the things that should be ring-fenced by the council for protection, ot used to strike at local communities out of spite towards Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats.
I hope the Star will continue to cover the fine efforts of Nick Clegg, David Baker and local community activists in opposing this politicised act by the Labour council. The council should use our taxes for services we need, not vanity projects they want.