Councillors and campaigners against plans to slash Cambridgeshire County Council’s spend on library books by £325,000 from April 2017 have won further support from Cambridge MP, Daniel Zeichner, as the campaign to save library books picks up pace. Professor Nick Gay, a Fellow of Christ’s College, and Councillor Jocelynne Scutt, Labour’s West Chesterton County Councillor, will join forces at the Full Council Budget debate meeting on 14th February to persuade the County Council to agree to reinstate the full budget for library books and newspapers.
Professor Gay will be presenting a petition signed by more than 1500 residents determined to keep the library shelves stocked with books, whilst Councillor Scutt will be asking all county councillors to accept Labour’s Budget amendment to reject the £325,000 cut to the library budget.
Daniel Zeichner,MP, said: “I am pleased to have joined campaigners over the last few months to protest against the cuts to our library services, and today I am adding my support to the County Labour Group’s alternative budget which would reverse the £325,000 cut.
We all know that reading improves lives. In this era of post truth politics and fake news, we should all be able to visit our local library and pick up a book or magazine and these cuts would severely affect that. This important service must be protected. “
Professor Gay said: “Our petition has gathered enormous support because of the recognition that walking into a library and reading a book can open up whole new worlds. After all, it was reading a library book aged only 10 in Cambridge’s Milton Road library that set Sir Andrew Wiles on the path to becoming a world famous mathematician and solving Fermat’s Last Theorem. I hope councillors will realise the strength of feeling about protecting our library service. “
Councillor Scutt added: ” Euphemisms such as ‘community resilience’ are too often used to cover up the savagery of the cuts imposed by central government, but libraries have always played a vital role in keeping our communities strong. They must continue to be considered as an important community resource and not just an easy target for budget cuts. I look to councillors from all parties to support the restoration of the full budget for books, newspapers and periodicals.”