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We need your help to save Barking & Dagenham's Libraries

Peter Salisbury in Barking
We need your help to let our Councillors know how we feel ab out the proposed cuts to the Library Service in Barking & Dagenham.

If you agree that our Libraries are a vital service and should be saved from the can help support our campaign by:

1) Signing our petition
2) Contacting your local ward councillors directly to tell them how you feel about the proposed cuts.
3) Getting involved in the campaign

Links for our petition, our facebook page and details of who your Councillors are and how to contact them are in the links below. If you'd like to get involved in the campaign, please send me a private message.

Petition at

Facebook Page at!/SaveBarkingDagenhamLibraries

Who is my Councillor?

Also, thanks very much to everyone who has already been in touch to offer their support with the campaign so far. I think that I've emailed everyone who contacted me and once Christmas is out of the way I'm looking to organise something for early in the New Year.

Finally for now, I have also written to our two Constituency MP's Margaret Hodge and Jon Cruddas asking for their support. A copy of the email to Mrs Hodge is reproduced below. (The note to Mr Cruddas is essentially identical)

As soon as I receive any response,, I'll let you know what they say.

Dear Mrs Hodge

As you may well already be aware, having already shut two libraries as part of a budget cutting exercise, the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham are now consulting with local residents on proposals to reduce the libraries budget even further. It is proposed that only two of the Boroughs remaining libraries will be safe. The other seven libraries will be maintained and stocked by the Council but will rely entirely upon volunteers to stay open.

This is projected to save £593,000 per year for 2014/15 and subsequent years. (Not much more than the estimated cost of the "free" newspaper printed and distributed by the Local Authority each fortnight)

Our Libraries are a vital public service and need to be resourced properly. Local libraries are a place of learning, helping improve literacy for all, providing children with a quiet place to do their homework and providing a warm welcome and advice to some of the Borough's most vulnerable residents. All of this is under threat if the Council's proposals are approved. There are already many volunteers giving their time freely to deliver services that people in our community rely on, however volunteering should only ever support the work of permanently employed trained library staff, not replace them.

There is also significant concern that these proposals are the thin end of the wedge. We have already lost two libraries for good. The newly proposed cuts only deal with the current financial issues that the Council is facing, what happens if more money needs to be saved in future years, will more libraries close for good or will funding for books be withdrawn?

To try and help Barking & Dagenham Council understand the strength of feeling about these proposals, we have started a petition at (or go to and search for Barking and Dagenham libraries).

I am also writing to your colleague Jon Cruddas MP and as our Borough's Members of Parliament, I would like to ask you both for your support in opposing the proposed cuts to these vital services. With this in mind, I'd be very grateful if you could sign our e- petition, promote the petition on your websites and social media channels and outline how else you might support our campaign.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely

Peter Salisbury
Save Barking & Dagenham's Libraries

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