Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Lobby for Libraries - My MP's response

Having sent my email to my MP (see previous post), I was initially pleased to find a response in my inbox only a few hours later, however upon reading it I realised that it hadn't been sent from my MP, but someone else who I can only assume works for her, and the response was not exactly what I had hoped.

Thank you for writing to (name of MP) regarding the provision of libraries in the country. Libraries are a matter for local Councils and here in Cornwall - Cornwall Council.

Cornwall Council have been very innovative in their work with libraries including integrating libraries and one stop shops and strong use of volunteers. Cornwall Library service is committed to ensuring that provision is sustainable and meets the needs of customers in the County.

Cornwall Council did give a presentation to the Committee in Parliament of the work they have carried out. The report is available on the Parliament website:

With regard to the EDM Sheryll is keen to at least see some reform to the current EDM system which is currently incredibly costly to the taxpayer and very ineffectual. Like many MPs Sheryll does not sign any EDMs.

“there is very little prospect of EDMs being debated” Source: Parliament website

The costs associated with early day motions in financial year 2009/2010 were approximately £1,000,000. Most of this cost was accounted for by the printing and publication of early day motions, amendments to them, and names added to them, under the House's contract with TSO. This is the direct cost and does not include the cost to the taxpayer of MPs staff time dealing with the lobbying.

Money which I am sure you would agree would be better spent on Libraries, amongst other things.

I hope this explains the position.

To say I am disappointed is a little bit understated really.  I have never in my life written to any MP and naively believed that they were there to listen to their constituents.  The response quite neatly places the issue of libraries at the door of my council (of course I am aware that Cornwall Council is responsible for libraries - my email quite clearly stated that I am a regular user of them as well as being a professional member of CILIP).  My request to support the Early Day Motion was quite neatly sidestepped into a whole other political issue and I disagree about my council being innovative in their use of libraries, especially their use of volunteers; a use which I pointed out in my email meant that the next generation of library users will miss out on people who are 'professional, independent information brokers who can also deputise as therapist, counsellor, play leader, teacher and friend'.

Very disappointed with my MP and her office and I will be looking closely at the report which Cornwall Libraries made to Parliament.

No comments:

Post a Comment