LIBRARY CLOSURES: It was UKIP who wrote the letter

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I would like to reply to V Harding’s letter in the Lincolnshire Free Press of October 22: “Letter was offensive and an insult”.

The writer is quite correct, I did berate two Conservative party members, but not just for supporting the closure of Crowland’s Library, as the writer indicates, but also for being two faced, since later they have supported the continuance of the library, but with voluntary labour replacing the librarians that they want to sack.

The writer continues to tell us that the Conservatives have got it right, and how in this age of austerity we cannot afford the cost of operating an outdated amenity.

It was the same Conservatives who decimated our railways 50 years ago, telling us how in that age of austerity we cannot afford the cost of operating an outdated railway, and promptly closed four of our six lines from Spalding and its extensive freight yards.

Only to hold out the begging bowl last year to build a new freight yard south of Spalding, because the current rail and road system cannot cope.

Birmingham City Council, however, has just spent £189 million, believing libraries to be institution’s for the future.

Would the well meaning amateurs that currently chuff their steam trains along at a stately speed of 25 miles per hour be allowed to run today’s modern high speed railways? No. It’s left to the professionals, and so should the libraries be.

In claiming the volunteers to be amateurs, I would include myself. If I were to be left to operate the library, I wouldn’t be able to provide the kind of service our professionals currently provide.

It will be a mess. I base this conclusion on several observations.

1 – Another volunteering group that looked at operating the library withdrew, knowing it couldn’t diversify sufficiently to provide the service by volunteers.

Indeed it openly admitted that to keep its self on course, it employs a professional, on a salary, out of funds given to it.

2 – The model being used to operate the library has a reduced service, and may not be able to be modified to meet Crowland’s requirements.

3 – Organisations that use volunteers are well known for having a regular turnover of staff, requiring increased training cost, so Crowland might need a full time trainer.

As for V Harding’s need for authorship, It was I, supported by my colleagues in UKIP, who wrote the letter.

Peter Bird