Kent councillors fail to back National Libraries Day

Tomorrow is National Libraries Day, a day of celebration of our public libraries and a reminder both of their importance and of the threats to their existence. With a public consultation on the cards, how many councillors in Kent will be going out in their community and demonstrating their support for public libraries? Well, not many.

We emailed all the councillors in Kent urging them to visit their local library for National Libraries Day. The response was less than impressive. Despite two separate emails, only four councillors confirmed that they would be visiting their local library:

Eric Hotson Conservative
HGR Birkby UKIP
Alan Terry UKIP
Trevor Shonk UKIP

Three UKIP councillors, one Conservative, not a single Labour councillor. That’s four councillors out of a total of a possible 84. A pretty poor turnout. So, does this reveal a certain ambivalence amongst councillors for their local library service? If so, it suggests that the battle to convince councillors that their intention to hand the libraries in Kent to a charitable trust is going to be exceptionally difficult. With a consultation currently taking place, which will undoubtedly endorse the council’s preferred option (regardless of the views expressed in the consultation), it’s disappointing to see so few of those in opposition prepared to make a stand and demonstrate their support.

You can find the contact details for your local councillor here.

If you are heading out for National Libraries Day, we’d love to hear from you! If you have any pictures or stories to share from the day itself, do drop us a line, we’d love to share them and help highlight the love communities feel for their public library service.

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