Lobby for Barnet libraries

to join us at Hendon Town Hall at 7pm on 12 October for the Council Meeting where the final proposals for our service will be announced.
Maybe you signed the petition, joined a Save Barnet Libraries march, took part in the consultation?
Maybe you’ve read the report of the consultation and know that more than 90% of Barnet residents oppose the council’s three options for cuts to library services, closure of libraries, and unstaffed opening hours?
Now make sure your views are represented.
Come to the Children, Education, Libraries and Safeguarding committee meeting, starting at 7pm sharp, at Hendon Town Hall on 12 October.

Barnet libraries latest

Here are some Library report headlines
· 46% of workforce to be sacked
· Redundancy payments will cost £1.5 million
· 71% of panellists, 88% of questionnaire respondents opposed the reduction of staff opening hours
· Council are now proposing to cut the 634.5 staffed library hours a week to 188.
· Under the proposal Libraries will initially be required to open for only 15 hours a week, with or without staff
· Four Libraries, Childs Hill, East Barnet , Mill Hill, and South Friern will be run by volunteers
· The Library Proposal is to cut Library costs by £2.85million by 2019/20. The present budget is £4.5 million.
· Phase one of planning for and changing the library service has been estimated at £399,300
· Phase Two will cost £750, 000
· It is estimated that “reconfiguring libraries to release space” will cost £2 million.
· The cost in introducing technology that allows unstaffed opening will cost £2.41 million,
· This means that at least£6,560,3000 will be spent implementing changes to the Library Service with the rationale of saving £2.850,000

Round up

THE BOOKSELLER : 1st October

CILIP urges libraries to welcome refugees




BBC News : 1st October

Reading Council plans £600k cut to library service




LGA : 1st October

Libraries funded to run innovative digital inclusion activity




The Star : 1st October

Sheffield libraries branch out a year on from handover




Local Government Lawyer : 30th September

Internal auditors urge public sector boards to get assurance on risks of outsourcing

“Organisations may think they have thrown the risk ‘over the fence’ but this is absolutely not the case.”


Private Eye : 30th September

Issue No 1402 (p. 35)

Library News | Herefordshire

Available in newsagents


ITV News : 30th September

Leicestershire | Community groups on course to take over libraries



Get Reading : 30th September

Libraries in Reading: cuts of £600,000 to be made

Every branch library in Reading – apart from Central Library- will come under scrutiny as the council searches for £600,000 worth of cuts.




Public Libraries News : 29th September

Editorial | Lewisham claim making staff redundant “enhances” their service … and refugees



Leicester Mercury : 29th September

Leicestershire | Uncertainty remains over future of four closure-threatened libraries

Bosses at County Hall say they have been able to reach agreements that will see 32 smaller county libraries managed by volunteers leaving just four at risk of closure.



Lincolnshire CC : 29th September

New era for libraries

?http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/local-democracy/county-news/features/new-era-for-libraries/127391.article …



Stoke Sentinel : 28th September

Staffordshire | Libraries handed over to save cash




Stamford Mercury : 26th September

Lincolnshire | Proposal to save Deeping Library is rejected

Plan was backed by Deepings MP John Hayes (Con)


BBC News : 29th September

Sheffield City Council thanks library volunteers

“We still have some financial support from Sheffield City Council, but that will end in about 18 months time, and even that does not meet all our bills so fundraising is one of our key activities.”




Lincolnshire Echo : 29th September

Lincolnshire library to shut for good due to lack of funding

The library at Wragby will shut later today as there are not enough funds to keep it open, volunteers who run it say once rent has been paid there is only £1,000 left to run it for the year.  Barbara Bartlett, one of the volunteers set up to run the library, said the decision to shut it was due to a lack of support from Lincolnshire County Council.




Cambrian News : 29th September

Gwynedd | Relocating library to leisure centre ‘offers better facilities’




THE BOOKSELLER : 28th September

Young people prefer print to e-books 

The survey marks the launch of ‘SYN: State of the Youth Nation’, a new research tool from market research company YouthSight.


Publican’s Morning Advertiser : 28th September

Pubs minister checks out a book with his pint

Cornwall visit.  Appointed in May 2015 as Parliamentary under secretary of state for DCLG. 




Daily Echo : 28th September

Letter | Council can do job

There is only one community group able to run our library service and that is Southampton City Council.




Chronicle Live : 28th September

Newcastle | Primary school pupils put new Newburn library through its paces




Cornish Guardian : 26th September

Tax rise could finance Launceston library after survey by Town Council

More than 70 per cent of those responding to the survey said they would be willing to pay more tax if it meant the service remained free, and 88 per cent of responders said they used the library.




Grimsby Telegraph : 26th September

North East Lincs | Library needs your votes to win cash and reopen




Barnet & Whetstone Press : 23rd September

Enfield | Council defends cuts after £4.4m library refurb


THE BOOKSELLER : 25th September

CILIP votes overwhelmingly against ‘amateurisation’ of library service



Leon’s Library Blog : 25th September

Cilip AGM 2015



SCL : 25th September

Library leaders across England and Wales confirm the welcome offered to refugees and

asylum seekers from public libraries




Shropshire Star : 25th September

Shropshire Council’s plans to hand libraries over to groups opposed by campaigners




Express & Star : 25th September

Sandwell | Residents’ opinions sought as council warns frontline services may be cut

including Libraries




Sutton Guardian : 25th September

Have your say on £1m cuts to Sutton’s libraries




Rye & Battle Observer : 25th September

East Sussex | ‘No red lines’ as county council looks to cut more than £70m




Wales Online : 25th September

Struggling National Library appoints new Chief Exec to turn around its fortunes

insolvency a threat unless jobs are lost




Craven Herald : 24th September

North Yorkshire | Meetings organised for potential library volunteers


Marking, WTF!

I have been looking at school marking systems. They are absurd. I have come across teachers having to write in ‘tickled pink’ and ‘green for growth.’
WTF. These are real! Kevin McLaughlin on the second post here has fun with others which are exaggerations, but not by much! There are -I kid you not- eight pages where teachers need two felt tip pens, three different coloured other pens and ludicrous letter schemes such as S for support and-oh yes- T for teacher support. No marking scheme should be longer than a page of A4 and it should be SIMPLE to use and understand. Have we lost our faculty for humour and proportion and sheer bloody common sense? This is how to give teachers’ nervous breakdowns. Senior management teams: stop it now!


When I was a boy of seven,
Tanks rolled into my home in Budapest.
It was 1956.
My family walked,
Across the border into Austria,
Because the natural law
Of the right to life and freedom
Trumps all national laws.

Europe greeted us with open arms.
There were camps ready
To house us
And soon we were on a flight to England
Where we made a new life,
Because the right to life and freedom
Trumped all national laws.

Now I am an old man,
Barrel bombs fall on people
In Syria.
It is 2015.
Families walk,
Across the border into Hungary
But Europe is not ready.
Hungary is building a fence
And weaving a web of razor wire
To stop people just like me
And my family
All those years ago,
And I am ashamed
Of England,
Of Hungary,
Of Europe.

When it is legitimate to mutiny

With the election of a socialist as Labour Party leader, there has been a growth in interest in the big political issues. One of the issues that has been bubbling away has been whether parliamentary reform can ensure social change or whether a movement outside of parliament is more potent. A general has now said the Army could mutiny if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister. These issues have been aired many times. One of the most dramatic such episodes was the period immediately before the First World War when Irish Home Rule dominated the political arena.
In April, 1912, when the Liberal leader Asquith introduced the first reading of the Home Rule Bill, the Tory leader Bonar Law left the public in no doubt as to which he considered the more important, parliamentary debate or extra-parliamentary action.
While the Protestant population, a minority in the whole of Ireland, but a majority in the more economically developed Six Counties in the north east, demonstrated in their thousands, Bonar Law backed them to the hilt. This is what he said at Blenheim on July 24, 1912:
“We regard the Government as a revolutionary committee which has seized upon despotic power by fraud.”
This was a Bill tendered by the governing party, remember. He continued:
“In our opposition to them we will not be guided by the considerations or bound by the restraints which would influence us in an ordinary constitutional struggle.”
If a party of the left were to speak in such terms there would be howls of sedition. He went on:
“they would be justified in resisting such an attempt by all means in their power, including force.”
His peroration based on mass struggle outside the confines of constitutional politics concluded:
“I can imagine no length of resistance to which Ulster can go in which I should not be prepared to support them, and in which, in my belief, they would not be supported by the overwhelming majority of the British people.”
Of course, the will of the overwhelming majority of the British people is usually tested at the ballot box, but Bonar Law was happy to set that aside in order to thwart Home Rule. The lengths to which Bonar Law referred included gun running, military mutiny and disorder in the streets. Unionist MP Edward Carson, allied with the Tories, told his supporters: “Do not be afraid of illegalities.”
Bonar Law would even go so far as to say that he would: “prefer to accept the government of a foreign country” than to see Ireland ruled by a nationalist government based in Dublin.
When, in Easter 1916, republicans and socialists staged the Easter Rising, parliamentarians frothed unblushingly at the mouth about insurrectionary appetites, conveniently forgetting their own rebellious activities of just four years earlier. Whenever you hear modern defenders of the sovereignty of parliament spluttering that it is unforgivable to mount opposition on the streets, remember that just a hundred years ago just such a movement was being fomented by the leader of the Conservative Party.

Corbyn: infamy, infamy, why has the press got it in for me?

I have been watching the media quite carefully this week as the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn takes charge. Somebody in the Corbyn camp is reported as being relieved to have got through all the bad press. Well, let’s face it, there is going to be a whole lot more to come. The reason is quite simple. The run of ‘bad press’: the allegations of shabby dress sense; being door stepped by a film crew in a way Cameron never was about his father’s alleged tax avoidance or Osborne about stories of whiplash and cocaine; the allegations of sexism when no Shadow Cabinet has ever featured more women; the howls of outrage that a republican did not sing the national anthem are happening quite simply because we have a bad press. It is not a bad press because journalists are by nature bad, but because our main media outlets are concentrated in the hands of a tiny group of politically motivated multi-millionaires. They tell the journalists what to do and, while there are many excellent journalists, a significant number gleefully do the biasocracy’s work for it.
Cast your mind back to the treatment of miners’ leader Arthur Scargill at the time of the Great Strike. Murdoch’s notoriouously untruthful Sun (remember the lies about Hillsborough) produced one of the foulest front pages ever to disgrace newsprint. It featured a photograph of Scargill holding out his arm as if in a Nazi salute, with the headline ‘Mine Fuhrer.’ This was part of a wholesale onslaught on the National Union of Miners and its leader, elected with a very strong, popular mandate. If you flick through coverage of the miners’ strike of 1984-5, you will be struck by its naked bias.
In the fetid fantasy world of the Eighties media decent coppers and honourable non-striking miners battle vicious strikers who are intent on a Marxist coup. Robert Maxwell, who stole £400 million from the Mirror pension fund used the paper to allege the miners’ leaders were corrupt. They weren’t as was proved in court. He was. The Cook Report, fronted by the reprehensible Roger, served up shovelfuls of dirt, none of which was supported by a shred of evidence.
The political conspiracy that defeated the miners by the skin of its teeth involved Margaret Thatcher’s inner circle, the rogue millionaire strikebreaker David Hart, future MI5 chief Stella Rimmington and the media barons, especially Murdoch and Maxwell. It was shamefully assisted by TUC leader Norman ‘who?’ Willis and that mediocre blabbermouth Neil Kinnock. All this has all been wonderfully catalogued by Seaumas Milne in his book ‘The Enemy Within.’
Thatcher consorted with the likes of Sir Hector Lang of United Biscuits, Lord Hanson and John Paul Getty the Second while her strikebreaker David Hart enrolled the breakaway Union of Democratic Mineworkers. The majority of the press stayed silent. No investigations. No research. No difficult question. She dallied with the likes of Jimmy Saville, crooked businessmen Asil Nadir and Octav Botner, a supporter of the colonels’ dictatorship in Greece, John Latsis and others. While the press fell upon the miners’ union with a shamefully voracious appetite, the venal corruption of Thatcherism was rarely questioned. Links between some journalists and the security services have long been admitted by the likes of Sandy Gall and Frederick Forsyth.
This is not some involved, paranoid conspiracy theory. Former MI5 boss Stella Rimmington, who cut her teeth on the miners’ strike and other disputes has stated firmly what it is all about:
“Those who wish to damage the state will naturally organise themselves, and make plans, in secret….we may have to….recruit members of those organisations as agents to tell us from the inside what is being planned. Then we have to analyse and assess the information, and use our findings to counter the harm which is intended.”
For damage the state read effect social change. If anyone is in any doubt that the state sees Jeremy Corbyn, the people who voted him in as Labour leader and the movement that has been drawn together around his election as people who ‘wish to damage the state’, I would respectfully say that they are naïve. This is the context in which attacks on Jeremy Corbyn have occurred and will continue to occur. These are the opening shots in a war. Corbyn’s supporters would be foolish not to be ready to fight fire with fire.