Concerted lobbying efforts by UNISON Torfaen County branch have removed the threat of reduced library services across the region this year. Torfaen County Borough councillors were so impressed by the trade union’s campaign and strength of public feeling they reversed a proposed £240,000 cut in the local libraries budget, which would have made fifteen people redundant.
Cheryl Morgan, UNISON branch secretary said,
“The proposed quarter of a million pound cut would have meant a much reduced service to the public. Think of all those great things our libraries provide to people of all ages in the community that would have been at risk: story-telling classes for young children; internet access for those who can’t afford it at home; IT training and adult education and job advice for the unemployed, not to mention the wonderful availability of free books.
“It’s obvious Welsh councils are under severe pressure from savage UK Conservative government funding cuts but our public services are at the heart of community life and must be saved. This is a massive victory, protecting vital services in deprived areas.
“UNISON led the campaign against the proposals and our submission argued healthy communities need decently funded, professionally run library services. Our partnership working with the Torfaen Labour administration council is productive and we are very pleased the council has listened to the voice of local people.”