Monday, 14 December 2009

Dan and Alex campaign to save free newspapers in libraries

I've joined with Dan Rogerson in a campaign to save the provision of free newspapers in libraries across the county.

The Conservative led administration at County Hall has decided to cut this service from January 1st. The savings will be tiny but the effect on some of the least well off local residents will be immense.

At present, Launceston Library has the Western Morning News, Times and Daily Mail on the five days a week they are open. (The Mail wouldn't necessarily be my choice of newspaper, but there you go). They also carry the weekly papers (which are not being cut). Other libraries in the county carry a similar spread of papers.

According to staff there, the papers are very well read. Many people, particularly older residents, don't have access to the internet and are not comfortable using computers in any case. They form the bulk of the readership, which also includes people searching the jobs pages and people waiting to use other library services.

The cost of providing newspapers is just a couple of pennies per reader per day.

The Conservative led administration at County Hall promised to cut bureaucracy but instead they are cutting free newspapers in local libraries. It's quite clear that their penny-pinching is being aimed at some of the least well off and most vulnerable people in the County.

Six weeks ago on Radio Cornwall, Council Leader Alec Robertson promised no front line service cuts. The decision to take newspapers away from libraries proves that you can't believe a word he says.

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