What ever way you look at it this its still a very large cut in services and if compared to closing libraries
that would equal the closure of 5 or more libraries.
Nobody wants to reduce services, lest of all me. However, we are where we are with the national financial crisis and I think that what is proposed for Birmingham libraries is a very good proposal when you consider what other Councils are doing to their library services. No libraries in Birmingham will close!
You may say that the reduction in library hours is equivalent to library closures. I disagree, there is a huge difference. Once a library closes, that it! It's finished! Never to re-open. A reduction in library hours is reversible.
I note that you don't believe these reduction in library hours will be reversed and the libraries will eventually close. That may be the case if Labour take control in May, but while the Conservative - Lib Dem coalition is in control, no community library will close. To prove this, just look at our record.
£4.3million has been invested in improving our library buildings since 2004. A further £1.1million is being invested in the 2011/12 financial year alone - Kings Heath Library, Selly Oak Library and Hall Green Library are getting new roofs. In the next financial year an additional £1million is being invested in our library buildings. Is this the sign of an administration abandoning its community libraries.
On top of this £188.8million being invested in a brand new state-of-the-art Library of Birmingham.
The previous Labour administration allowed our library buildings to rot, thinking that giving libraries lots of buckets to collect water dripping from the ceiling was weather protection. This administration is instead putting new roofs on our libraries.