Greening’s grammar guff

Did anyone hear Justine Greening’s BBC4 interview? It went something like this:
“So if grammars have always benefitted the better off, why will it be different this time?”
“Because it will.”
“But if there have never been more than a tiny number of ‘ordinary working families’ in grammars, why will it be different this time?”
“It will be different because it is our policy.”
“But won’t the middle class just spend money on crammers that the working class does not have?”
“Our grammars will benefit ordinary working families.”
“Labour say….”
“I don’t know what Labour’s policy is.”
“The policy is no new grammars.”
“Nuh, Nuh, nuhhhhrrrr….”
That is caricature, but not much.

Libraries round up

Belfast Telegraph: 22 April

Union chief slams MLAs over fresh library cuts




Bath Chronicle: 22 April

Please re-open Bath Central Library exhibition room



Rugby Advertiser: 22 April

Frankton making the most of phone box

Another book exchange referred to as a ‘mini-library



The Shields Gazette: 22 April

South Shields’ The Word wins four gongs at building awards


BBC News: 21 April

Northern Ireland | Cuts to library stock and opening hours

4NI: 21 April
Northern Ireland | Political Parties To Blame For Failure Of Libraries
Richmond and Twickenham Times: 21 April
Richmond | A new chapter for Tudor Drive Library
Extension to provide ‘flexible community space’
Bury Times: 21 April
Anonymous benefactor donates £15,000 to help keep Tottington Library open
Volunteer-run facility
BBC News: 21 April
Scotland | Crossmichael phone box takes on new life as a library
A ‘Wee Book Hoose’ created in a disused phone box offering donated books.
The Star: 21 April
Sheffield | Feature: Saving our library was the start of a new chapter
Refers to volunteer-run facility
St Helens Star: 20 April
Author Frank Cottrell-Boyce speaks of importance of libraries in wake of service review
Dumbarton Reporter: 20 April
Former Ladyton Library edging towards new future as dance school
The Star: 20 April
Sheffield | Community focus: Frecheville Library in good hands
The self-funded library relies on community donations and four annual fundraisers to keep it going.
Plymouth Herald: 20 April
Library campaigners stage 14-hour reading protest in Plymouth
Herts Advertiser: 20 April
Wheathampstead library takes great step forward
More volunteers step forward to run the service
Dorset Echo: 20 April
‘It is just not what Dorchester is all about and it is bringing down the town’: Anti-social behaviour becoming ‘concerning and noticeable’ problem
‘Since the beginning of February there have been nine reported incidents around the library on Charles Street.’
Keighley News: 20 April
Bradford | New warning issued about austerity’s likely impact on communities in the Worth Valley
Local parish council is already running services, including library. Warning of need to put up parish precepts

Blackburn with Darwen Council | More volunteers running Darwen Library as part of council savings



2BR Radio: 17 April

Lancashire | It isn’t over yet for Whalley Library



Leigh Times: 17 April

Westcliff Library Open Again



Chester Chronicle: 17 April

Funding options on table for Chester’s £300m Northgate Development

Chester Library is now closed as books are moved across to Storyhouse ready for the grand opening on May 11



Chester Chronicle: 17 April

Storyhouse in Chester invites community groups to use the space



Sutherland Northern Times: 17 April

Huge cuts but ‘stable’ year for High Life Highland?

High Life Highland, the charity running leisure & cultural services, inc. libraries have been hit by the council’s demand to cut cost by near £1mill. The leisure company has now cut management, library and business support jobs as a consequence.


Lancashire | Warning over library bid ‘chaos’



Big Issue: 14 April

Government considers inquiry into library closures


Get Reading: 14 April

Cost-cutting hits Reading libraries



Yorkshire Evening Post: 14 April

Free wi-fi switched off at Leeds community buildings to ward off troublesome teens



Grimsby Telegraph: 14 April

Anti-social behaviour at Grimsby and Immingham Libraries ‘will not be tolerated’



Brixton Buzz: 14 April
Lambeth Council explores new site for Lambeth Archives to help ‘maximise income generation’ at the Minet Library





The Bookseller: 12 April

Government considers intervening in Swindon and Lancashire library closures



Bolton News: 13 April

Fears about future of B:easties youth club as Topping Fold Library faces closure



Huddersfield Examiner: 13 April

Kirklees | Birkby library could close – to solve a DIFFERENT problem

Library housed in school may go to make way for more classroom space to cope with demand for school places.



The Guardian: 13 April

Parish councils: an unlikely urban safety net



Fife Today: 13 April

Library set to re-open doors
Re-opens after essential repairs


Lancashire Telegraph: 13 April

Lancashire library closure probe is on the political cards



Enfield Advertiser: 13 April

Arts Centre could be new home for Haringey Library



Midsomer & Radstock Journal: 13 April

Bath and NE Somerset | Library consultation results published


Lancashire Post: 12 April

Government inquiry into Lancashire libraries not ruled out



Public Sector Executive: 12 April

Decision to close Lancashire libraries was ‘predetermined’, letter claims


Blackpool Gazette: 12 April

Under-threat Lancashire’s libraries to get a stay of execution?



Blackpool Gazette: 12 April

Lancashire | MP warns county over wasteful library closures as inquiry looms


Walsall Advertiser: 12 April

Rushall library in Walsall to be saved with late community bid?



Gazette & Herald: 12 April

North Yorkshire | Norton library reopens as a community hub

volunteer-run facility



Enfield Independent: 12 April

Haringey | Jacksons Lane Arts Centre approaches Highgate Library Action Group (HLAG) and Haringey Council to discuss relocating to Highgate Library



Big Issue: 12 April

More young people are using libraries, Carnegie study finds



Western Mercury: 12 April

North Somerset | Library will be closed for 12 weeks for refurbishment and children’s centre moving in



Reading Chronicle: 12 April

Reading Borough Council intends to revive three key community hubs, while Southcote and Whitley services will be streamlined

Upgrades will be funded by partly by the disposal of Southcote and Whitley Library, as well as grant funding and a developer contribution.

 Battle Library will operate at reduced hours, while services in Southcote and Whitley will be relocated across the three community hubs.


DCMS ‘minded’ to intervene over Lancashire library closures

The DCMS is ‘minded’ to intervene over the closure of Lancashire libraries. The department may not, but it has served notice that it is possible and it wants a response from Lancashire. There have only been two interventions in the history of the public library service, Derbyshire and, most famously, Wirral when Andy Burnham halted the closure programme.


A cautionary tale

A cautionary tale:
For their birthday, Lefty, Softy and Righty got a Corby.
“What, one present between three of us?” they said.
“I’m afraid so,” Party said. “We’re not made of leaders.”
Well, Righty really wanted a Lizzy and Softy would have liked an Andy or a Vetty, but they both had to settle for a share in a Corby.
Lefty loved her Corby and couldn’t wait to see it work, but when she wasn’t looking, the others took out the batteries.
“See,” they said. “We told you it wouldn’t work.”
Lefty finally found the batteries hidden down the side of the settee and got her Corby started again.
“Look,” she said. “Party says this is the only present we can have so we have to make the best of it. Stop being so mean.”
Later on that day, Softy and Righty went up and down the street and told everybody the Corby didn’t work. Lefty went out to play and everybody laughed at her.
“Your Corby doesn’t work,” they said.
Lefty got her Corby going and tried to show them, but most people were looking the other way by then. There were pictures of a Corby that didn’t work everywhere you looked. Every day, Softy and Righty said they should swop the Corby for something better. Finally, they got their way and the triplets went back to Party. Softy and Righty wanted to swap the Corby for a Smthy. After lots of arguing, Party made up her mind.
“The Smithy doesn’t work,” she said. “It just produces a lot of hot air and goes backwards.”
Lefty was made up, but Softy and Righty were angry. When Lefty wasn’t looking, they kicked the Corby and pulled bits off. Quite soon, it wasn’t working half as well.
“What’s wrong with our Corby?” Lefty said, really upset.
“We’re not sure,” Softy and Righty said. “But we told you it wouldn’t work.”
They looked at each other and winked.

What’s this English the EDL defend?

What’s this English,

The EDL defend,

A mythical dream of 1958,

White bread, white faces

And maiden aunts cycling

To evensong under a northern sky,

A Butcher’s Apron

Snapping in the wind?

What’s this English,

The EDL defend,

Pathetic Alf Garnetts

Bending the knee

To ancient privilege?



So what’s this English

The EDL defend?

Is it the English of the Huguenots

Who worked in silk,

The Irish who dug and built,

The Jews who worked and thrived,

the Muslim workers

who struck for Altab Ali,

the Windrush West Indians

who became the muscles

of our public services?


What’s this English

The EDL defend,

Our good old brew

From the hills

Of Kenya and Assam,

An aromatic curry,

A piquant pasta,

A kebab on a Saturday night?

Or is it the full English

With a dash of nice brown sauce

Full of English syrup, sugar,

Dates and tamarind?


You can stuff this English

The EDL defend,

Slurred speech and red, sweaty faces,

Upside down Union flags

And tempers as short

As a crushed Woodbine.

You can roll it into the shape

Of a sweet English rose

And shove it up

Your rotund, racist arse,

Your fascist, English Khyber pass.


Every time they want to fight

The next war,

They say it will be different

To the last war.

There is always amnesia

About the last war

So that they can begin

The next war.

Maybe if people remembered

the last war

the next war

would not happen.

The tears of Donald J Trump


Donald J Trump wept this week
For Syria’s children.
He wept because, he said,
Beautiful babies were cruelly murdered.
He wept because, he said,
No child of God
Should suffer such horror.

So why, I wonder,
When beautiful babies
Were being cruelly murdered
And the children of God
Were suffering horror
Just four years ago,
Did he demand another president
Get Congressional approval
And stay out of Syria?

Why, I wonder,
is he such good friends
with the house of Saud
when beautiful babies
are being cruelly murdered
in Yemen
and the children of God there
are suffering horror?

Donald J Trump
Has selective tears.

Mrs May explains bombs



The bombs that fall on Syria

Are barbarous,

The bombs that fall are vile,

The gas attack is a war crime,

We condemn it,

Condemn it with all our heart.


The bombs that fall on Yemen,

Are naughty,

They’re not that good at all,

But we can’t condemn them utterly,

No, we won’t protest at all,

The bombs that fall on Yemen,

Well, we sell them on the Kingdom’s call.


The President that drops bombs

On Syria

Is a pariah, a monster,

A wicked, wicked man,

A murderer, a butcher,

He’s quite beyond the pale.


The King that drops bombs

On Yemen,

Now we need to engage with him,

Sell him arms for profit,

Declare him our brother

In arms.


So I hope you like

My explanation,

It’s really rather clear,

Dump our oil sugar daddy,

Sod off,

No bloody fear.

Libraries round up

Bath Chronicle : 10 April

Bath library consultation: Campaigners say findings show library already ‘ticks all the boxes’




Plymouth Herald : 10 April

Plymouth Labour ‘make no apologies’ for library leaflets






Swindon Advertiser : 11 April

Government investigates Swindon’s library cuts



Llantwit Major GEM : 11 April

Library usage in Wales in increasing




Hereford Times : 11 April

Exercise for both body and brain now easily accessible under one roof in Bromyard

The Halo team – with support from professional librarians and staff from Herefordshire library service – will now be handling the issuing and return of all library stock at the Bromyard Centre.



The Bookseller : 11 April

Young people’s library usage trends revealed in Carnegie report



Daily Post : 11 April

Look: Former Conwy library to become café for book lovers


Carnegie UK Trust : April 2017

Shining a Light

Link to all publications



The Herald : 10 April

Scotland |More families ‘just about managing’ turn to libraries



BBC News : 10 April

Scots ‘most likely’ to use public library



The National : 10 April

Rise in numbers of Scots primary school children using libraries




BBC News : 10 April

More young people using libraries, study finds



Yorkshire Post : 10 April

Calls for more to be done to future-proof library services



Local Berkshire : 10 April

Carnegie UK Trust conducted a study on library users between 2011 and 2016



Heart Radio: 10 April

Library use up in Wales



Local Gov : 10 April

Study reveals drop in frequency of library use



Leon’s Library Blog : 10 April

Shining a Light – Initial Response



Blackmore Vale magazine : 10 April

Dorchester TIC books into its new library home


The Scotsman : 10 April

Pamela Tulloch: Read all about it: children and libraries the ideal mix

‘Ninety per cent of brain development occurs before the age of five and there is a significant body of evidence that shows reading for pleasure has a huge impact on educational success and personal development.


That’s why it’s vital that children are introduced to books and reading at a young age – certainly pre-school, when they are curious, hungry for information and need regular stimulation to develop communications skills. Reading with babies and toddlers can shape how well or otherwise children perform academically.


Our public library network plays a unique and distinct role in this area. Libraries are a fantastic place to reach children at a young age and foster a love of books. Crucially, libraries offer free and easy access to books for everyone, regardless of age, social demographic and level of education, ensuring equality of opportunity – a fundamental ethos of public libraries.’



Henley Standard : 10 April

Benson | Community facilities ‘won’t cope with village expansion’



Yorkshire Coast Radio : 10 April

North Yorkshire | Grand Re-opening Of Scalby Library

Now run by volunteers and one of 21 libraries in North Yorkshire which are to be managed in that way.




Diss Express : 10 April

Suffolk Libraries wants your views as service faces shrinking budget


The Press : 8 April

Authors launch community libraries


Plymouth Herald : 9 April

Labour accused of spreading ‘political propaganda’ with library leaflets


Bradford Telegraph & Argus : 9 April

Exhibition shows how new library and archive building for Calderdale will look

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press: 6 April

Tax on new homes in Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk to bring £1.7m boost for footpaths, football and libraries

‘Plumstead Road Library would be one of three, along with Wroxham and Diss, to share in £120,000 to bring in self-service technology, which would mean people could use libraries outside current opening times.’



PRIVATE EYE | Library News

Issue 1441 (page 32):

Libraries Taskforce innovation fund

“… a miserable sop compared to what has been lost”



Northern Echo : 7 April

Council help at last for Hambleton’s volunteer libraries
Dispute over business rates for volunteer-run libraries



Harrogate Advertiser : 7 April

Letter: Libraries – have we got our priorities right?



Spalding Today : 7 April

First birthday celebrations of library, run by volunteers

Bury Times : 6 April

Reader’s letter: Bury Council mismanagement to blame for libraries crisis



Bury Free Press : 6 April

Help shape the future of Suffolk’s libraries

Library user survey, ‘Suffolk Libraries’ Extra scheme




Bracknell News : 6 April

The Defend Our Community Services (DOCS) group are lobbying Bracknell Forest Council against possible job losses
Library campaigners fight to stop possible swathe of job cuts



The Times : 6 April

Pupils face postcode lottery as councils shut down libraries

behind paywall



Brixton Buzz : 6 April

Lambeth | Carnegie Library – after the protest. Photos of the messages left outside the closed library



Liverpool Echo : 5 April

St Helens libraries under threat as council review entire service



BBC News : 5 April

North East Lincolnshire | Grimsby and Immingham libraries hire security staff



Blackpool Gazette : 5 April

Lancashire | Wait goes on for library answers in spite of promise



Nottingham Post : 5 April

Bakersfield library to be sold to help fund new Sneinton community hub



Gazette & Herald : 5 April

Rydale | Authors help relaunch community libraries

‘community library’ = volunteer-run



Daily Record : 5 April

Crossmichael’s old phone box set to be tuned into community library

‘community library’ = disused phonebox, makeshift shelving & donated books



The Socialist : 5 April

Bromley library workers strike against privatisation

mentions Carillion, GLL and Lord Bird



Wiltshire Times: 5 April

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid defends cash cuts

Sajid Javid: “People want to see good libraries, social care, transport – and of course that costs resources but they want to make sure that Wiltshire Council, who have shown they will find savings in the right places and protect frontline services, is spending every penny of tax payer money it’s got wisely and that is what it has done.”

The Bookseller : 3 April
Lambeth |  Hundreds gather to ‘ridicule’ Carnegie Library situation
Holyrood : 4 April
£150,000 programme launched to support public library projects
Third Force News : 4 April
Charities offer libraries funding opportunity
Ikley Gazette : 4 April
Burley Library welcomes 500 visitors
Event marked the take over of the management of the service which will be run by Parish Council and volunteers
News Shopper : 4 April
Library strikes over fears Bromley council are selling off services
Northern Echo : 4 April
Darlington library service plans delayed yet again amid legal concerns over Crown Street
Herts Advertiser : 4 April
Public meeting being held about Wheathampstead library’s future