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Leicester: libraries fightback
Mike Barker, Leicester Socialist Party
Like other Labour-controlled local authorities, Leicester City Council is in the process of doing the Tories' bidding by destroying our city's public services.
But people are fighting back to save our libraries. In late 2016 a vibrant community campaign stopped the threatened closure of the city's second busiest library, and evidently the taste of victory has inspired others to fight back.
Following a recent 100-stong protest, later in the week around 150 people packed a community centre to stop the imminent closure of another local library.
"This Labour council are not strong enough to stand up and say 'we are Labour and we won't make any cuts!'" said one campaigner. Another person argued that the mayor, as a former teacher, should be "embarrassed and ashamed for even trying to close a single library."
With other libraries across the city in the process of coming under review for cuts, we now have the belated support of a couple of pro-Corbyn councillors.
But with so many other services under attack (like welfare and youth services), it is critical that as many people as possible demand that no cuts be made at all.
In Leicester one obvious way in which our council can prevent further cuts is by drawing upon the £142 million they have in their general reserves!