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 (Â£1,106,400), mobile library (Â£150,000) and Perivale (Â£527,500). Northfield library is recently refurbished and Northolt Leisure Centre is brand new. Labour seem intent on spending Â£5.5 million on a car park but libraries can close. The capital argument is just unsustainable. Labour is making the wrong choice here.
Labourâ€™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 councilâ€™s own figures below show how well used our libraries are.
Northfield, Northolt Leisure Centre and Perivale are three of the boroughâ€™s most efficient libraries. Labour’s revenue argument stinks too.
There is no mention in Labourâ€™s consultation document and questionnaire of back office and management costs. Thatâ€™s the place to look for savings. Watch this movie.