Councillors outside Crawley Library
Councillors outside Crawley Library

Labour Parliamentary Candidate Peter Lamb Joins Labour Councillors from across West Sussex launch “Save our Library Service” petition in response to Tory cuts 

Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council and prospective Labour Parliamentary Candidate in the forthcoming election, joined with Labour councillors from across West Sussex today to show his support for their campaign against significant cutbacks to the Library service across West Sussex.  

The proposals would see the mobile library service abolished, all main libraries’ opening hours cut back by at least an hour and many smaller libraries under threat of closure, as the Tory council tries to cut back services to fit its shrinking budget following continued drastic cuts by the national Tory Government.

Commenting on the cuts Peter said: “People in Crawley and all over the country have simply had enough of these cuts. What happened to the promise that austerity was over? Once these services are lost, they are lost forever. That is why I am supporting my County Council Labour Group colleagues in opposing these proposals. 

“I know how hard it is to deliver services in the face of relentless budget cuts, but you have to draw a line somewhere. The Library service benefits people of all ages in Crawley. Not every family can afford the internet at home, they go to the library. If it closes at 6pm most working people will only be able to use the service on Saturdays which really isn’t good enough. 

“I hope that people will sign the petition and force West Sussex to think again.”

You can sign the petition here

 Labour Group Leader on the County Council Michael Jones (Southgate and Gossops Green) who is a member of the Select Committee where the proposals were scrutinised and supported by the Tory majority, added: “It is outrageously unfair to cut back in this way, and socially very damaging.  West Sussex say they want libraries to be the heart of their communities.  But presumably that is only provided that the community finishes at six in the evening. 

“The West Sussex Library Service is one of the jewels in the crown of the county council and it is heartbreaking to see it being whittled away in this wholly irresponsible manner by the West Sussex Tories. 

“And the sad fact is that all these Tory cuts to the library service are paltry in local government spending terms and to achieve them they will diminish a vital and much loved service.  I know Labour councillors across West Sussex will be keeping up the pressure to ensure none of them do.” 

If the petition, which calls on the Cabinet Member to scrap any planned cuts to the library service, raises 3,000 signatures, which can be from anyone who lives, works or studies in West Sussex, West Sussex County Council will be forced to consider it at a meeting of the full council, where it will have to decide whether to take action to listen to the petitioners’ calls.

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