1 Mar 2015 - Press Letter: Library closures
I was astonished to see that the Green Party councillor in charge of Bristol's libraries, Cllr Daniella Radice, has proposed the closure of 7 libraries across the city to save money.
Of course the Internet has reduced lots of the demand for books, but when Lib Dems were running the libraries we understood the continuing great importance they have as community hubs and general learning centres. We built two new libraries, and saved money when needed by co-locating them with other services, and also by innovative changes like self-serve book check-outs. There is no need for closures.
But to see a Green Party councillor proposing these closures - while Greens campaign across the UK against library closures - is unbelievable. The Bristol Green Party still have a page on their website detailing how in 2013 Cllr Radice was so opposed to "attacks" on Bristol's libraries that she joined with library campaign group "Voices of the Library" to support them. Ironically she was opposing the library service making £40k extra income per year by renting out storage space to a new school under the Central Library. I presume Cllr Radice now sees the other side of that argument.
I note that in the only council the Green Party have ever run, Brighton, their own councillors have just voted down their own council budget in an argument about funding. Utter chaos. It really does seem that when the Green Party are actually put in charge of things, they are found wanting.
Dr Mark Wright
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Bristol South