Jocelynne Scutt, Labour’s County Councillor for Arbury has welcomed the proposal to reinstate the £2300,00 budget for books, periodicals and newspaper, which was controversially cut last year, but also warns about of the future of libraries across Cambridgeshire.
Jocelynne said, “Along with hundreds of residents, I protested against this cut last year, so it’s good news that it is now being reversed, but begs the question on whether the Conservative administration at Shire Hire actually have a coherent plan for anything.
They certainly don’t for libraries and I am very concerned for the future of this vital service. Libraries are an easy target for cuts but play an invaluable role in keeping our communities strong.”
The decision to cut the budget for books, periodicals and newspapers was pushed through earlier in the year as part of the County’s 2016/17 budget, facing fierce community opposition and a petition signed by over 1,500 people. While the the U-turn on library funding has been welcomed, the County Council will also have to resolve a £37 million black hole in next year’s Budget caused mainly through the national government’s austerity agenda.
Jocelynne says, “we may have won a small victory, but the bigger battle is still to be fought.”