Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Coalition Government has announced that all local authorities must make a saving of 27% within the next 4 years.
Despite prior reductions in staffing numbers to introduce self-service machines in almost half the libraries in Westminster, and the systematic reduction in staffing numbers inline with the council's ideological aims, Westminster Libraries was asked to prepare for the reduction of 25%-40% of its service.
Yet so far, the council has only announced the closing of Charing cross and St James' Library. Why?
The council considers it prudent to Wait until 2012 to announce major cuts to Libraries once momentum in the national movement to defend libraries dies down, and further to not draw public attention to major cuts to other council services.
In the mean time, more staff jobs will be axed to introduce more self-service machines, stock budgets are slashed, staff contracts are under fire and the threat of volunteers running the service has not quite disappeared.
The council has offered no concrete commitments to protect the service or it's employees despite having over 100 staff members working on austerity measures since before November 2010.

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