Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join now
News & Press: News

Time to end a decade of library austerity

02 March 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gus MacDonald
Time to end a decade of library austerity

Bobby Seagull at 10 Downing Street

CILIP and Library Champion Bobby Seagull delivered a petition to Downing Street last Thursday calling for an end to a decade of public library austerity and demanding secure revenue funding for public libraries in the Chancellor’s Budget.

The petition, signed by over 7,000 members of the British public, calls on the Secretaries of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Communities, Housing and Local Government (MCHLG) to bring an end to 10 years of library austerity and to work together to invest in the future of the UK’s towns and communities by reinstating revenue funding for libraries to its pre-austerity level in the forthcoming Budget.

Nick Poole, Chief Executive of CILIP, said; “I’m absolutely delighted by the outpouring of support the British public has shown for this petition. It really proves what we at CILIP have been saying all along, that great libraries and professional librarians build stronger communities. They are the heart of any High Street, providing access to literacy and skills and an unparalleled inclusive “social infrastructure” across the nation.

“The joint CILIP/Big Issue report Public Libraries: The Case for Support, shows that revenue funding for libraries has been cut by £243m per year in real terms since 2010. While many Councils have worked hard to protect library budgets, if libraries are going to transform towns and communities across the whole of the UK, we desperately need to see revenue funding through Local Authorities restored to its pre-2010 level.”

Library Champion, Bobby Seagull, added; “libraries are such a vital part of local communities, I’m shocked by the funding cuts they’ve seen in the last 10 years. It really is a testament to the amazing work of professional librarians that they have continued to be the lynchpin of our local communities in such trying circumstances. It’s time for the government to step-up and guarantee them secure funding, so they can continue their amazing work.”

The petition remains open until the 11th March when the Chancellor’s budget is announced. We would encourage you to sign it and share it with your friends.

You can catch more photos from the handing over of signatures to 10 Downing Street here.

Header image: Bobby Seagull at 10 Downing Street

Published: 2 March 2020

More from Information Professional


In depth



This reporting is funded by CILIP members. Find out more about the

Benefits of CILIP membership

Sign Up for our non member newsletter

Contact us