Thelma Walker MP for the Colne Valley has held talks with Kirklees Council and ‘Friends of’ Library groups as a further cut to the library budget is out for consultation.
Representatives from Golcar, Meltham, Honley, Slaithwaite and Holmfirth were all present at the meeting with head of library services, Carol Stump and Kirklees Council Cabinet Member Cllr Graham Turner.
A current consultation is taking place, with the budget looking to be reduced to £2.2m, Thelma and the ‘Friends of’ groups have expressed concern over the way the Kirklees consultation has been written, however, in the meet Cllr Turner said, “they are willing to listen to every idea” and encouraged the groups to share their ideas with the Council. Cllr Turner also clarified that the Council hasn’t got an end goal in mind of where they would like to get to, and will not make that decision until the consultation has ended and a report has been produced.
Speaking after the the meeting Thelma said, “We have had a productive discussion about the future of our library services across the Colne Valley constituency. The Council doesn’t want to make these reductions to the library budget but have had their hands tied by Central Government cuts to local authorities. They have to make the tough choice. Do they reduce care for an elderly person or keep a library open? Even the Prime Minister couldn’t answer which one they should do!”
Thelma added, “I want to praise the work of the volunteers at each of the ‘Friends’ Groups, which are working to keep our libraries open. Without these volunteers, many of these services would have closed or would only be open for a couple of hours a week.”