Two hundred people marched in support of the Greek people’s struggle against austerity and for democracy on Saturday. On Sunday we were overjoyed to hear that President Tsipras had been awarded a resounding mandate to go back into discussions over a fair settlement of the debt crisis.
How exactly, Mr Fallon, do air strikes from 30,000 feet on the participants of a chaotically complex and multi-layered civil war ‘fortify’ the UK against ISIS attacks? Could they stop ISIS affiliates in Tunisia opening fire on beaches when the bombs would be falling 1,500 miles away? Do ISIS have conventional troops, a navy and aircraft to invade the United Kingdom by land, air and sea? How exactly would a number of bombing raids of uncertain efficiency protect a single UK citizen? Could such conventional military action stop a UK citizen ‘sleeper cell’ carrying out an outrage in London, Manchester, Birmingham or Leeds? How, Mr Fallon, how does a long-distance item of ordnance ‘fortify’ this country?
Former Education Minister David Blunkett has written an article in today’s Guardian under the sigh-inducing headline: “I was tough, but Chris was tougher.” It is a sad day when toughness is seen as the most important characteristic of either an Education Minister or Chief Inspector of Schools. I would prefer integrity, the ability to listen, a rigorous application of the conclusions of research, open-mindedness, curiosity and an abiding attachment to the interests of children, teachers and parents.
Chris Woodhead posed as a brave iconoclast, but he had the solid support of the state for his ‘reforms.’ There is nothing brave about bullying teachers and children into a system of increasingly Gradgrindian mediocrity. Blunkett is sensitive to the criticisms of the Chief Inspector’s tenure which is why the article is so deeply contradictory. Under the ‘rights of children’, Woodhead propagandised a system in which they became more stressed, more subjected to endless pressure, target-setting and short-term box-ticking rather than quality learning. Primary science and writing are probably the two areas that suffered most from this approach. Children were encouraged to learn ‘scientific knowledge’ rather than test hypotheses through process and bludgeoned into phonics and the scatter-spraying of Wow words (the only wow word is wow) as opposed to learning to express themselves clearly through experimentation and reading. Teachers became victims of the same process. I had two radio exchanges with Woodhead. He said in one that silent reading was ‘pointless.’ I kid you not. Far from the brave, sword-in the hand groundbreaker Blunkett conjures, he was a deeply mediocre place man who ditched his own earlier attachment to a soppy and irresponsible progressivism in exchange for the most intensely robotic form of school management. He was at the cutting edge of the breaking up of state education and presided over the steady slide of the UK down the admittedly problematic PISA tables. Even the much-lauded increases in test results were invariably the result of teachers and children getting better at teaching to the test, not the result of better pedagogy. He was also a fierce promoter of Woodhead Plc, pressing his edu-business interests and media columns with the kind of ruthless efficiency he never devoted to defending children’s interests. I take no pleasure in any human being’s passing, but it would be wrong to suspend my criticisms of a man whose impact on education was negative in the extreme.
“Our involvement in Iraq radicalised, for want of a better word, a whole generation of young people – not a whole generation, a few among a generation – who saw our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as being an attack upon Islam.” Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former head of MI5.
Assemble 12pm, Bank of England (Queen Victoria St) City of London.
March to Parliament Square.
Organised by The People’s Assembly.
Public Libraries News : 5th July
The importance of being careful in emails … and charging for the latest in lego
Hinckley Times : 4th July
Leicestershire | Burbage Parish Council makes bid to save village library
Daily Beast : 3rd July
How to (Almost) Ruin a Great Library
New Statesman : 2nd July
Parliament’s all-male, all-white culture select committee
Jesse Norman is the new chair of the DCMS select committee
Darlington & Stockton Times : 2nd July
Meeting to decide fate of North Yorkshire’s libraries
Market Rasen Mail : 2nd July
Council merger – Let’s focus on north-west
Love Bris Libraries (Twitter: via @LoveBristolLib)
Submission from Royal National Institute of Blind People to Bristol City Council ‘Libraries for the future’ consultation
Daily Record : 2nd July
East Kilbride library axed in council budget cuts hosts farewell tea for loyal customers
The closure was branded a ‘disgrace’ by loyal customers.
Loughborough Echo : 1st July
Leicestershire | First volunteer-run library to be launched
First opened in 1938 – Barrow Upon Soar Library’s history
They Work For You
Written Answer – Libraries : 30th June
Southport Visitor : 1st July
Birkdale library; anger as Sefton is set to sell site to developers
Public Sector Executive
Ciara Eastell: Developing the digitally literate library workforce
Surrey Mirror : 30th June
Reigate and Merstham library opening times set to change
The changes are part of a wider review of the library service, which plans to reduce the staffing budget by £227,000 for 2015/16.
Your Thurrock : 30th June
As Thurrock’s mobile library closes on Thursday, Homelink service expands
Cambridge News : 26th June
Plans for enterprise centre at Cambridge Central Library thrown out by “embarrassed” councillors
They Work For You
Written Answers – DCMS : 26th June
Public Libraries – Closures
Literacy Trust : 29th June
Report from Read On. Get On. highlights ‘language skills gap’ at age 5
The report highlights the crucial role of local services, including children’s centres and libraries
Report – ‘Ready to Read’ http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/sites/default/files/images/Ready_to_Read.pdf
Liverpool Echo : 20th June
Arts Council chief on Liverpool’s pivotal role in ‘Northern Powerhouse’
We will make the best possible case for central government funding for the arts, for museums and for libraries.
Yorkshire Evening Post : 29th June
Leeds libraries campaign turns its first page
Libraries across Leeds have today started a new chapter in a campaign to raise awareness of the services they run http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-stories/whatsyourstory-leeds-libraries-campaign-turns-its-first-page-1-7331763
Loughborough Echo : 29th June
Leicestershire | Library opening hours are changing
Public Libraries News : 28th June
Sympathy for the devil: why even chief librarians don’t have it easy
Hinckley Times : 28th June
Leicestershire | Brewery bids to run library
Liverpool Echo : 24th June
St Helens council plans for £23m cuts to services in next two years
This could mark the end of the road for some or all council-run libraries across the borough, with the chief executive suggesting other providers may have to step in. Councils are obliged to ensure there is library provision available, but not to run libraries themselves.
Swindon Advertiser : 23rd June
Council hires new staff to ease pressure on library
Bristol Post : 24th June
Stephen, aged 8, collects 450 names for petition to save lib under threat of closure
Fife Today : 24th June
Communities to be consulted on Fife’s proposed library closures
Coventry Observer : 23rd June
Protest at council against libraries & disabled jobs service cuts proposals
Coventry Telegraph : 23rd June
Anti-cuts protest before first full meeting of newly elected Coventry City Council today
Sarah Smith, a Tile Hill resident who has been campaigning against the closure of her local library, will be handing in a petition of over 2,200 signatures against its closure.
Ilford Recorder : 23rd June
Redbridge’s libraries bringing communities together
“Libraries are something we have to protect and defend”
York Press : 23rd June
No plans to close York libraries
THE BOOKSELLER : 22nd June
Carnegie winner Landman condemns library closures
Birmingham Post : 22nd June
British Library joins Library of Birmingham for cultural partnership
Special project will mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare with initiative designed to help support the cash-strapped library
Lichfield Live : 22nd June
Staffordshire | UKIP ready to fight alongside the Green Party over future of mobile library service
Save Lincolnshire Libraries : 22nd June
Press Release | Lincolnshire CC library plans to be challenged again in the High Court
details of 3 grounds for challenge
The Courier : 22nd June
Public urged to fight ‘tooth and nail’ to save closure-threatened libraries in Fife
For Info :
Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development
Boom time for children’s books as sales soar, but where are readers?
Funding cuts in schools and libraries have put books out of reach for many children, says head of London-based literary agency The Bright Group
East Grinstead Courier : 20th June
Surrey | Power to the people – as Lingfield Library is to be passed to trustees
The Courier : 20th June
Methods questioned on proposed closure of 16 Fife libraries
Southern Reporter : 20th June
Scottish Borders | Councillors set to continue talks on plan to outsource cultural services http://www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk/news/local-headlines/councillors-set-to-continue-talks-on-plan-to-outsource-cultural-services-1-3805607
Shropshire Star : 20th June
Shropshire | Top lawyer drafted in to help Church Stretton library fight
The Lincolnite : 19th June
Hearing into potential judicial review of Lincolnshire libraries’ decision set for July
Burton Mail : 19th June
Plans on changes to mobile libraries in Staffordshire
Shropshire Live : 19th June
Church Stretton Library Support Group set to launch legal action over library relocation
Fife Today : 19th June
SNP campaigns to save north east Fife libraries
The Courier : 19th June
Fife | Closing libraries could destroy ‘lifeline’ for local communities, Trust warns
Public Libraries News : 18th June
Editorial | Strife in Fife? Library cuts go further than expected
THE BOOKSELLER : 18th June
Fife libraries threatened with closure
West Sussex Gazette : 18th June
Emsworth community divided after dramatic library u-turn
Hinckley Times : 18th June
Leicestershire | Library hours are cut to help balance books
Lincolnshire Echo : 17th June
Michelle Obama receives letters from Lincolnshire children about future of county’s libraries
View From Online : 18th June
Axminster: Former mayor says sorry over library campaign web link storm
View From Online
Axminster Councillors call for ‘ignorant’ library officials to resign
Axminster town councillors have passed a vote of no confidence in the the two people leading Devon County Council’s (DCC) Library Service – Councillor Roger Croad and head of libraries Ciara Eastell.
Public Libraries News : 16th June
Editorial | Legal action against the DCMS over cuts to public libraries: appeal for information
Paul Heron from Public Interest Lawyers has been in touch with regard to gaining national information on the failure of the DCMS to properly investigate and respond to cuts to public libraries. The full details are below. Please respond if you can help.
Harrow Times : 17th June
Library closures a ‘bitter disappointment’ as books sold off and staff face redundancy
Harrow Times : 16th June
Letter to council reveals government will review library closures
The Courier : 17th June
Sixteen libraries in Fife earmarked for closure
The Knowledge Exchange : 17th June
Volunteers in libraries: an alternative to closures, or a risk to the professionals?
Staffordshire Newsletter : 17th June
Residents urged to have say on latest consultation on future of Staffordshire archives http://www.staffordshirenewsletter.co.uk/Residents-urged-say-latest-consultation-future/story-26707283-detail/story.html
Lichfield Live : 17th June
Consultation to start over plans to scale back mobile library service in Lichfield and Burntwood
Times Series : 17th June
More registered at Barnet libraries – but loans fall
News North Wales : 16th June
‘Spend merger plans cash on frontline services’
SCRAPPING proposed mergers between councils in Wales would protect frontline services, a council leader says.
School visit availability, 2015-2016:
September 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 28, 29.
October 12, 13. 19, 20, 21, 22.
December 15, 16, 17.
January (any day at the time of writing except Jan 15).
February 8, 9, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25.
April (any day at the time of writing).
May , June, July (any day at the time of writing).
DAILY EXPRESS : 16th June
The places where mobile phones should be banned
Ars Technica UK : 16th June
European Parliament committee adopts controversial pro-user copyright reform report
The newly adopted report hopes to make it easier for libraries to lend e-books …
Shropshire Star : 15th June
Shropshire Council starting to offload its libraries
Save Lincolnshire Libraries : 16th June
Three children write to Michelle Obama about Lincolnshire Libraries
Stourbridge News : 16th June
Dudley | Stage to be built in Kingswinford Library as part of Arts Council grant
Milton Keynes Citizen : 15th June
A review of libraries is taking place in a bid to save money over the next three years
Liverpool Echo : 15th June
Livewire and council propose £16m neighbourhood hub for Warrington
Harrow Times : 15th June
Libraries close their doors for the last time