Delightful visit to Muswell Hill children’s library to open it now it has been restored to its former glory. You really have to go there to see how fantastic it now is. The roof has huge, ornate sky-light type windows in – glorious – but in all the years I did my surgery there when I was a Muswell Hill councillor – you would never had noticed – as the dirt and grime of years obscured their magnificence. The walls had always been peeling and decrepit – and an old mural across the length of one wall was dingy and dark. The mural had been lovingly restored – and now the library is quite magical. No doubt lots of local children will spend many a happy hour. Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make this finally happen.
Tell the children to read quickly – this is one of four small libraries named as being possible victims of the “totally necessary, it’s our fault, we’ve been spending beyond our means” public sector cuts. So enjoy it while you can and don’t think ‘Oh well, I’ll just have to walk a bit further and use Alexander Park library instead – that’s on the list as well. (Stroud Green and Highgate are the other two). Thanks Lynne.
Is this a joke?
Libraries, particularly small ones, are going to be subject to very necessary cuts (we’re apparently in a state of emergency)?
Please Lynne you have to start opposing some of these things. I don’t know what the Conservatives are threatening you with but ignore it, make a stand, you have principles.
Reticent though i am now to say anything in case Lynne’s next message is that she knows where I live, we have our answer this morning from Cameron.
From now on libraries and others services will be run by volunteers, philanthropists or entrepreneurs.
Now that’s a very interesting proposition.
Volunteers and philanthropists will know nothing about how to run a library. G*d forbid this govt should accept for one moment that there are skills involved in doing so. There will be well meaning people dotted about who will want to volunteer to keep libraries going but it will be a disaster. Philanthropists are great in their place but there aren’t enough to go around.That leaves entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs don’t do stuff because it is for the good of the community, they self evidently do it for profit. They will happily run a library but there will be charges. The good folk of Muswell Hill may well be able to afford to pay but most in Tottenham can’t or won’t.
Lynne do people need skills to run libraries? Do they need skills to run a health service? Or should we just revert to self-interest and say well my community agrees with the coalition view of the big society and we can afford a library and/or we have lots of Lynne’s who say they can help. We don’t care if you can’t afford one and your children will be denied access to books because of it. So stuff you.
I am finding it very hard to distinguish the Cameron view of a big society from the Thatcher view that there is no society. The difference in only in tone. The effect is just as chilling.
PS is the Stasi on the way to get me?
Of course – librarians are very skilled. And that’s to misread the Big Society. As to the future of Muswell Hill library – it is a valued and vital service in my view. Liberal Democrats locally fought with local campaigners to save it from Labour’s plan to close it over ten years ago. We fought and won. If Labour have the libraries in their sight – and it will be a Labour local decision – then they should think again. Just as I believe that the voluntary sector will be being eyed by Labour Haringey as a soft target – so too may the libraries be being viewed. Labour need to look at their own organisation before they target front line services. And whilst I am aware that they will try and lay everything at the coalition door – the truth is where they cut is entirely their choice.
You surely know that no one is buying this line.
Lynne, you are are peddling such a dishonest line that I’m almost embarrassed on your behalf. If I have no money, how can I make a choice about what to give up? The choice is made for me.
You campaigned against Tory policies and now you are rushing to implement them – plus some others that weren’t even on the table.
Who would have voted for you if they knew that your slogan was ‘First I will support the withdrawal of funds from your children’s swimming passes, then I will stand by while libraries are trashed and if anything goes wrong don’t bother calling the police because I’m much bothered about funding them either?’
i think your comment about how
“they (haringey council) will try and lay everything at the coalition door – the truth is where they cut is entirely their choice”
is disgraceful. I am genuinely shocked by your arrogance. First you blame Labour for ‘reckless spending’ and now you will blame a Labour administration when they are forced to stop spending. You attack Labour when they spend too much and now you attack Labour because they can’t spend enough! It’s a win/win for you isn’t Lynn? I didn’t really know much about you until the whole issue of primary school funding came up and people were asking, “has anyone heard from Lynn Featherstone?” (er, the answer was no). Keep blogging Lynn, the more people know what you think the easier it will be to de-select you at the next election.
Lynne, I just read your last comments and they leave me a bit confused. You attack Haringey Labour for looking for soft options etc. But why don’t you look at “the soft options” being taken by the Government of which you are a member? And if it’s all because of the economic mess left by Labour how do you explain your silence on policies being rushed through which have little to do with saving money and more with introducing pure Conservative ideology – the kind of true blue policies that under the Thatcher Government helped to destroy individuals and communities because “unemployment was a price worth paying”. I must admit I am shocked at how readily the LibDems have aassumed with apparent glee the role of king maker! And I’m a bit ashamed that I was taken in by you – but that was in the days when you professed that it was “good to engage”. The impression a lot of people contributing to this blog have formed is that now you prefer to offer a few platitudes and ignore everything else that is said.
As for the big society, I can’t yet bring myself to say what I think but needless to say I think there will be lots of people who have worked all their lives to make Britain a civil place and will now be wondering what kind of lesson it is that Cameron is trying to preach.
I am always very pleased to hear of improvements for children I hope this facility is sucessful
Lynne I have quite a few thoughts on your reply but I will save them for later. I’m actually really pleased to see you have started to respond.
For now though I have one question and I would be really grateful if you could reply:
What should Haringey council cut?
These responses i think sum up the mood of many in the country. Indeed read quick because it will all be gone soon.
This is the mood, uncertaintity and cynicism are the dominant forces arouind us.