Greenwich battle of the books
LIBRARY workers in Greenwich began a 48-hours strike last Wednesday in protest at plans to cut the borough’s mobile library service.
The union Unite called the strike as Greenwich councillors ploughed ahead with plans to close the mobile service which delivers 33,000 books a year to children, an increase from the 22,000 books lent last year.
The union said that what is at stake is children’s literacy, the gateway to future employment, which is being jeopardised for a comparatively small annual saving of £126,000; although the council has £320 million stashed away in reserves.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Literacy is a fundamental human right and anything that erodes that life chance should be strongly opposed. Good reading skills are the key to decent employment in adulthood – so the blinkered actions of the council need to be condemned.”
Backing Bromley holds council to account
A COMMUNITY group in the London borough of Bromley, calling itself “Backing Bromley”, was launched on Wednesday to “tackle councillors’ failings”.
Backing Bromley raised around 1,200 protest signs on Wednesday. The signs warned that residents are “no longer prepared to accept elected leaders falling short of their responsibilities to the young, the old and the vulnerable”.
Cray Valley resident David Christian said: “Backing Bromley is being launched so residents can come together to hold the council to account over its failures and we will be making our presence felt.
“We want our council to succeed but believe its leaders should be more responsive to us, the people of Bromley.
“The leader of the council, Stephen Carr and the deputy leader Colin Smith will no longer be able to rest on their laurels while old, young and vulnerable are let down because a new group is here to stand up for Bromley.”
Residents from Bromley Common and Keston, Bickley, Chelsfield and Pratts Bottom, Chislehurst, Copers Cope, Cray Valley West, Farnborough and Crofton, Hayes and Coney Hall, Plaistow and Sundridge wards have all joined to form the new group.
They complain of a “catalogue of failures” by councillors, with concerns over the treatment of whistle-blowers, school places, parental support for disabled children and the quality of care homes.