The Labour council has kicked off a consultation today on closing four libraries plus the mobile library. One of their justifications is that some of them need some money spending on them: Hanwell (£1,106,400), mobile library (£150,000) and Perivale (£527,500). Northfield library is recently refurbished and Northolt Leisure Centre is brand new. Labour seem intent on spending £5.5 million on a car park but libraries can close. The capital argument is just unsustainable. Labour is making the wrong choice here.
Labour’s revenue argument is also rubbish. The main way people use libraries is to borrow books. Cost per book has to be the key metric of how efficient and well used a library is. The council’s own figures below show how well used our libraries are.
Northfield, Northolt Leisure Centre and Perivale are three of the borough’s most efficient libraries. Labour’s revenue argument stinks too.
There is no mention in Labour’s consultation document and questionnaire of back office and management costs. That’s the place to look for savings. Watch this movie.