Helen Goodman, UK Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, has joined Minnie Driver and others in the campaign in Lincolnshire against closure of two thirds of the county’s libraries. As reported in the Lincolnshire Echo, she condemned the plans of Conservative-led Lincolnshire County Council as “disgraceful.”
Dressed in Lincoln green, or something like, Helen Goodman reportedly declared that “Local libraries are central to our societies, offering a safe place for all … They are investments in our future through the communities they nurture and skills they foster.” A full video of her appearance is available here.
Helen Goodman came at the invitation of pro-library campaigners, who came to the House of Commons in London to lobby MPs on the situation. Her position could hardly be further removed from the government minister she shadows, Ed Vaizey, already condemned for presiding over the swingeing, and largely ideological, cuts in UK library provision.
Lincolnshire County Council, meanwhile, continues to defend its decisions, in the light of overall burden-sharing and savings required by the state of UK public finances. The contribution of the local library service cuts in Lincolnshire to the overall savings is estimated at around £1.7 million, which will lead, among other things, to zero budget for school libraries.