Message of support from LCC Grantham South County Councillor Charmaine Morgan
I deeply regret I cannot attend your protest in Lincoln because I will be attending a planning committee meeting in my District which includes a case affecting the ward I represent. However my support and thoughts will be with you all and you are welcome to use this message of support.
It is quite outrageous to deny future generations the ability to access free books locally – especially in our more rural areas where communications and social networking is so important for the sustainability of the area and urban areas where incomes are low and education may offer the only hope.
The wider role of our libraries in supporting other government and local authority bodies, including public health and planning matters has been totally ignored as has the value of libraries to those visiting our area, including tourists who would reasonably expect a civilised nation to have a library in every town – especially in a County hosting the first ever chain library and that amazing document the Magna Carter.
I am deeply concerned at the risk involved in relying on underfunded stretched volunteers to replace the excellent professional service we have now. When the library services are threatened, what then will happen to the important buildings that are pivotal to the communities they serve and which speak of earlier generations which had the foresight to invest in, rather than destroy, public services for the greater good of all?
The Government started this process by cutting back on local authority budgets but Conservative Lincolnshire County Council cabinet members are putting the final nails in the coffin if they do not heed our voices of protest. I fear they have proven themselves to be predetermined on this matter. If so, it is time for a change so that those sitting on LCCs Cabinet reflect the values of the people of Lincolnshire. Our voices of protest demonstrate that our communities are more far-sighted than those meant to lead us and our communities value their library services – unlike those who are meant to serve us but who have failed to do so.
It is not too late for LCC Cabinet members and senior LCC officers to reconsider and join our voices of protest at the budget cuts that have led to this situation. It is not too late to re-think. There are other options including charging for the use of the libraries by other public/ private organisations dependent on them who will now have to find other means of communicating with communities.
In his poem ‘IF’ Rudyard Kipling said:
‘If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, yet make allowance for their doubting too…’
I really hope the irreversible decision being made will be the wisest and one that future generations will not question.
LCC Grantham South County Councillor Charmaine Morgan