Jack Lopresti urges residents to ‘have their say’ on Council’s proposals to reduce local library services

Jack Lopresti MP has joined the fight to prevent reductions to library services across South Gloucestershire. He wants to ensure that as many of his constituents as possible have their voices heard in South Gloucestershire Council’s consultation on the future of library services.

This follows a decision by Councillors this week to open a consultation into the future of library services.

Councillors voted for a proposal that would see the hours that libraries are open severely reduced, with some potentially only open for two days a week and volunteers being asked to keep it open at other times.   The Council agreed to delay any changes to libraries opening hours until October 2017.

‘I am very disappointed that South Gloucestershire Council are planning a drastic and highly damaging cut to our library services. Local taxpayers are paying more for the Chief Executive, who earns £155,724 a year, than they do for the Prime Minister and that three other officials at South Gloucestershire Council also earn well over £100,000 a year. This is not the best use of taxpayers money. I urge the council to ensure that back office efficiencies are made in preference to reducing front line services,’ commented Jack.

South Gloucestershire Council will embark upon a period of consultation before any final decisions are taken. The consultation will begin on Monday 22nd February. Full details of this will be available on the South Gloucestershire Council website.

‘Fortunately, the Council have to consult on what changes are made to library services. This is the perfect opportunity for residents to have their say on any changes that are made. Libraries have become important community hubs in recent years, with the range of services provided expanding well beyond the hire of books. They help promote literacy and prevent social isolation for many people. Every effort must be made to prevent the services they provide being damaged.’

Once the consultation is complete Councillors will have to consider the feedback they have received before making a decision on when and where hours are reduced, and what voluntary help they will need to fill the gaps.

‘I am very pleased that library users groups are gearing up to oppose any reduction to hours, and I would encourage everyone to contribute to the consultation,’ said Jack. ‘I will be meeting some of these groups very soon, and anyone who wants me to pass their views on to the Council is welcome to get in touch with me on 01454 617783, or via [email protected].’

The email address for contributions is [email protected]

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