National Libraries Day – Let’s Keep them Open!

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Protest Saturday 7 February, 12 noon, Central Library, Southampton

Saturday is National Libraries Day, rather than this being a launch pad to save Southampton’s libraries, the Labour city councillors are preparing a “muck or nettles” choice to close libraries across the city. How can this be just three months before an election that could see the austerity ConDem coalition ejected by the voters? Won’t Labour reverse these savage cuts to our city?

On January 13, we got a clear sight of what Labour plan to do, when John Denham and Alan Whitehead, voted with the Tories to carry through, £30 billion cuts in the next parliament.

We are using National Libraries Day to urge library users to campaign against all library cuts and closures, to lobby their councillors at the budget meeting on Wednesday 11 February, where we will be making a deputation to the council. Our supporters will be leafletting library events across the city and meeting at Central library at 12 noon to highlight the campaign against all council cuts.

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Library user and TUSC candidate Mike Marx said, “Libraries are a lifeline for our city communities, for young and old, for those unemployed and looking for work. Libraries are a fantastic resource that we must fight to keep and improve. Is this council really saying that the eighth richest economy in the world can’t afford libraries? I urge councillors to vote against the cuts and fight the government for the money our city needs.”

Southampton Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition will be standing candidates in every ward across the city in May as well as contesting the Westminster seats for Itchen and Test. Our candidates Sue Atkins (Itchen) and Nick Chaffey (Test) have a long and consistent record as trade unionists and anti-cuts activists campaigning against cuts and austerity.

“We do not accept the TINA mantra, “There Is No Alternative”. Ordinary people are being asked to pay for a crisis caused by the bankers, big business and their political allies in Westminster. It is a sad condemnation of the Labour Party today, that Southampton MPs John Denham and Alan Whitehead, stood with the Tories in voting for yet more pain for Southampton. We need MPs who will fight for the 99% to ensure jobs and affordable housing for all and a decent minimum living wage of £10/hour that is supported by the TUC. We give our full support to council librarians, their trade unions and library campaigners across the city to fight to keep all libraries open in the city.” Sue Atkins

For more information contact Nick Chaffey 07833 681910

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About Southampton TUSC

Anti-cuts campaigners, trade unionists and socialists calling on Southampton Labour council to use its cash reserves and prudential borrowing powers, to set a legal, balanced, NO CUTS budget in 2016! Campaign to restore government funding to provide jobs, housing and £10/NOW for all.

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