One of the mobile libraries
UKIP have offered to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Green Party, if Staffordshire County Council decides to completely scrap mobile library services across Lichfield and Burntwood.
One of the mobile libraries
Reduced numbers of people borrowing books have led to the proposals which would see stops in Hammerwich, Burntwood, Chasetown, Streethay, Curborough, Weeford, Chase Terrace, Fazeley and a number of other areas in Lichfield axed completely. The Green Party’s local spokesman Simon Partridge said the authority had a duty to keep the mobile library service running throughout the region. “Our party firmly opposes Staffordshire County Council’s proposed cuts to the mobile library service,” he said. “We believe that the cuts under consideration directly contradict Staffordshire County Council’s statutory duty under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 to provide ‘a comprehensive and efficient library service’. “The Green Party is founded on progressive ethical principles – our aim is to work for the common good of all. As such we’ll always seek to work alongside other groups or individuals who share our core values.” Their argument has been backed by the Lichfield and Burntwood UKIP branch who say that children from low-income households will suffer the most from the proposed changes. “We are willing to stand side-by-side with the Green Party over Staffordshire County Council’s proposals to scale back mobile library services in Lichfield and Burntwood,” a spokesman said. “Mobile library services are a valuable asset to the entire community, and we believe that the proposed changes will effect the poorest children in our district most. “We therefore call on Lichfield Greens to put party politics to one side, and we invite them to stand with us in opposing the closure of the area’s mobile library services.” But Staffordshire County Council insists that the mobile library service will continue to serve “deprived areas” in Lichfield and Burntwood.
Cllr Ben Adams
Cllr Ben Adams, Cabinet member for learning and skills, said: “Under the current proposals a mobile and travelling service will be continued in deprived areas and will still visit popular stops, which are more than two miles from a library building. “These proposals are not set in stone – we are willing to talk to different groups about their possible impact and hear alternative ideas, but there must be change because we cannot sustain the current investment.” A consultation over the proposals will take place for nine weeks in July, August and early September.    

Lewis Deakin

NCTJ-trained reporter with experience in a wide variety of journalism settings.