Make library savings with fewer councillors

First published in Your Say

REGARDING the proposed closure of Unsworth public library — I live in Ramsbottom, where we have an excellent public library. I would be opposed to the closure of any library which is under the control of Bury MBC.

I decided to visit Unsworth library to see for myself. The library is within easy walking distance of several primary schools and two high schools.

Apart from the usual facilities, there is also a popular children’s library with homework section and also a homework club.

There are also 10 computers, which are free to use, with internet access and Microsoft Office applications. Unsworth is also home to Bury’s toy library.

The councillors’ surgeries are held there; and there is a Council Information Point.

Unsworth appears to be a self sufficient, vibrant community with the library at its centre, and to take this away would have a devastating effect.

I would encourage members of other communities within Bury MBC to support the efforts to save Unsworth Public Library. I realise that council cuts will have to be made in accordance with severe budgetary constraints.

To this end, I would suggest that we might look at the framework of the existing councillor structure.

Bury MBC has six Local Area Partnerships (LAPs). Each LAP covers either two or three electoral wards; and each ward has three councillors. I would reduce the number of councillors within each LAP.

I feel that the LAP which covers two electoral wards could operate effectively if the number of councillors was reduced to four.

Also, the LAPs which cover three electoral wards could operate effectively if the number of councillors was reduced to six.

This would result in reducing the total number of councillors serving Bury MBC from 51 to 34.

This would achieve a saving of at least £135,000 per annum which would more than cover the savings envisaged by the proposed closure of Unsworth Library.

I would further suggest that career councillors with 25 years’ service ought to be encouraged to step down.

Their voluntary input in an unpaid advisory capacity at the LAP meetings might still be useful.

Bryan B Farlow Carr Bank Avenue Ramsbottom

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