Standing up for local libraries

I was lobbied this week about the importance of local libraries, and was happy to lend my support to Unison's Speak Up for Libraries campaign.

Nationally, libraries have borne the brunt of the Government's public spending cuts, but at a time of recession I think the service they provide is more valuable than ever.

In Brighton and Hove, the Council have managed to avoid any library closures this year, although they have had to reduce some services because of reduced funding from central Government.

Unfortunately, in future years, money is set to be even tighter - as the Government continues to try to force local authorities to finance the freezing of council tax rates through further cuts to public services.

So I am writing to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport minister Ed Vaizey to urge that funding for libraries be protected and ringfenced, as well as to champion the role that libraries like the award winning Jubilee Library in my constituency play in providing open access to information and literature.

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