Don’t let spending cuts ruin libraries – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Roger Backhouse, Orchard Road, Upper Poppleton, York.

Should a branch of the British Library be opened in Leeds?

OPENING a “public facing centre” of the British Library in Leeds is pure gesture politics. It cannot duplicate the vast reference collection held at St Pancras. It won’t lend out books.

Yorkshire once had some excellent public library services. Like others, they’ve been catastrophically run down in the last 11 years due to the Conservative Government’s spending cuts. Professional staff were slashed and bookstocks run down. A former pride of Britain is now a shambles.

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If the Government is serious about “levelling up”, it should provide local authorities with the sort of funding that provided decent library and adult education services even in the poorest areas.

Have cuts to library services gone too far?

Yorkshire already has a major British Library presence with the large lending division at Boston Spa. So just what is the Leeds outpost supposed to do?

Deterioration of democracy

From: Malcolm Naylor, Ilkley.

AS the failure and rapid deterioration of our sham democracy occurs, its scrutiny and reappraisal is long overdue.

Forget Covid. That’s just a distraction and excuse to use fear for social control. “Democracy” has always been discussed in reverential tones as the holy grail and criticism severely frowned upon.

Its advocates admit it “is not perfect but better than the alternatives”, but resolutely refuse to explore the alternatives. Why?

Every week we see in the mainstream media examples of where “democracy” completely fails. For example the east of Otley development plan and demolishing heritage Victorian architecture where local wishes are totally ignored. Trust is put into the hands of local councillors and MPs but their powers are severely limited.

The real decisions affecting life quality are taken by faceless capitalists who pull the strings in Westminster.

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