Sue has hit out at the Government’s funding cuts to local council budgets after the true scale of cuts to local libraries has been unveiled.
New research, commissioned by the Labour Party, has revealed that the number of books issued from public libraries in North West England has plummeted by 45% since 2011. The number of books borrowed has decreased from 33.5 million in 2011 to 18.3 million in 2028.
Today is World Book Day, an occasion to celebrate reading marked by over 100 different countries.
“Local libraries are at the hearts of our communities and they are engines of opportunity. However, almost a decade of Tory austerity has taken its toll on our public library services, causing branch closures, staff cuts, and fewer opening hours.
“521 libraries have closed across England since 2010. Cuts to library services damage the learning opportunities of children and young people, and impact on older people looking for company and comfort, particularly in sparsely populated areas like Cumbria.
“It is a scandal that millions fewer books are being issued from our public libraries. Council budgets across England have been cut to the bone by Tory austerity, and our library services are paying the price. Properly funding local councils means that they can provide vital services like these.
“Libraries are at the heart of our local communities. On World Book Day, the Government should urgently rethink and end these senseless cuts.”