Alliance Castlereagh Councillor Judith Cochrane has warned that the Culture Minister’s response to her on library closures offers no reassurance to those who wish to see library provision maintained.
Cllr Cochrane, spokesperson for the party’s youth wing the issue, stated:
“We are not at all reassured that the Minister for Culture has fully appreciated the importance of libraries to communities. Far from being too extensive, the fact is that library provision already lags behind the world-class standards we should expect, and even what we have is being threatened.
“Funding cutbacks are no excuse for limiting provision. Libraries should be located in places where people access a range of services and amenities, to maximise the potential usage and local community benefit. A co-location of a range of local services in a single building would be more efficient and less expensive.
“Not for the first time, we see that inefficient public expenditure is costing people the public services they deserve. That is what the Minister needs to tackle.
“The Minister must now state that she will take full account of public consultation on libraries, and that the position of the Government will be one of maximising the efficiency of money spent on libraries, rather than an assumption that libraries must close. We cannot afford to lose these essential resources.”