Saturday, February 27, 2016

As a US presidential candidate praises the uninformed, a UK city shutters its libraries: "Ignorance is free."

Bradford council is to withdraw from running 14 libraries across its district, either putting them in the hands of community management groups or, if no bids to run them are forthcoming, close them down.

The local authority, which oversees a district with a population of more than 500,000, agreed on the proposals at its budget meeting on Thursday, along with a number of other service cuts, in a bid to make savings of £61.5m over the next two years.

According to the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, Cllr Martin Love said the cuts are the result of “the most devastating budget the council has ever faced”.

The budget proposal that was initially passed kept seven of Bradford’s full-time libraries safe – the recently opened facility in the city centre and libraries in Keighley, Ilkley and Bingley, Manningham, Shipley and Eccleshill.

That left 17 that the council resolved to put into the hands of community management projects, which would run them on a voluntary basis. However, Bradford’s Labour executive member in charge of libraries, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, said that a late addition to the budget proposals to raise the council tax by 3.99%, the maximum possible, has meant a rescue package for some of the threatened libraries.

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