Local Lib Dem councillors have welcomed news that Labour-run Haringey Council will not be cutting library opening hours and staff, as planned in the first draft of Labour’s budget for this year. The news follows just days after local Lib Dem councillors announced their intention to put forward a budget amendment to reverse Labour’s cuts to local library services.
The Lib Dem opposition councillors criticised Labour’s original proposals, which had been due to save the council £150,000 and said they would keep the library services. The opposition councillors argued that savings could be made by cutting the bill for very senior staff at the council instead of reducing library opening hours and making 6 library staff redundant.
Cllr Gail Engert, Haringey Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition, comments:
“Whilst I welcome Labour’s u-turn on their plans to cut library opening hours and staff, they should not have considered making the cuts in the first place. Libraries provide important services for young people who need somewhere to study and provide spaces for local community groups to meet.
“The Liberal Democrats are committed to protecting libraries and the services they provide and we will continue to campaigning to keep our libraries.”
Reversal of the proposed library cuts are in the Cabinet papers for the Cabinet meeting on 14th February, see extract below:
13.6. The key recommendations are the removal of the following savings proposals:
Ref 6.6 - Reduce Opening Hours in our six branch libraries to 36 hours per week – saving £150k for 2017/18