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Outgoing Tory leader’s final act is nail in Surrey libraries’ coffin

September 27, 2011 4:49 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

In a final act as outgoing Leader of Surrey County Council, Dr Andrew Povey and his Cabinet have pushed through unpopular plans to remove full-time staff from up to 19 of the County's libraries and end the mobile library service from this week.

In front of a packed and angry public gallery, the outgoing Leader ignored appeals for an end to the plans, which will save very little money, whilst placing libraries under threat of closure.

Cllr Hazel Watson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council, said: "The decision is a disgrace, it is being done in the name of the Big Society, but support for it is invisible. The plans are being pushed through to save face in front of massive public opposition."

"Dr Povey and his Conservative Cabinet colleagues said that the library plans had to be pushed ahead to save money, however his argument is destroyed by looking at the budget papers that the same Conservative Cabinet discussed just minutes later."

"In just one month Surrey's balances have increased by £1m to nearly £42m, compared to the £400,000 a year cost of the mobile library service, which is being shut down this week, and the saving of just £200,000 in 2012/13 achieved by removing professional librarians from the County's libraries. This shows how the economies are so false."