Fight Tameside library cuts!

Jamie Godding, Tameside Socialist Party

Councils across the country are obediently forcing working class communities to suffer Con-Dem cuts; the Labour-controlled council in Tameside, Greater Manchester, is no exception to this.

One of the measures pursued by the council is an attack on an open source of knowledge, a place of employment and a vital hub utilised by numerous social groups within the community – from the young to the elderly and to those using the computers to search for jobs: libraries.

Councils have, under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964, a statutory responsibility to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service. In order to oblige this responsibility and fulfil their commitment to cutting services, the council is deliberating on three possible options; each option will see closures, redundancies and libraries operating on a reduced capacity.

Amid the ranks of people signing the Socialist Party petition against the library cuts, there were some who had, given the many local cuts, mistaken what we were there for. Some asked if we were petitioning over the public toilet closures or campaigning against care services being stopped.

Hundreds of signatures have been collected, with several copies of the Socialist sold and £170 raised in support of the Socialist Party’s campaigning work.