Thursday, January 6, 2011

In a Pickle

Oh dear. It seems as if Tim has fallen under the spell of Eric, the silver-tongued seducer from Keighley. If libraries can be run satisfactorily at 30% of their current cost, as Eric and Tim claim, could Eric function with 30% fewer of his chins?


























Picture from Wikimedia Commons

CoatesWatch: we ask the questions on the nation's lips.


  1. He really has no idea, does he. Does he think councils want to close libraries? Does he realise the scale of the public sector cuts? Every authority is about to announce unpalatable cuts across all areas. My local council has to save £37 million in 2011/12. There's no getting away from it, the money has been taken away.If chief librarians retain a smaller number of buildings they may have a chance of providing an effective service and concentrating their resources. This is the real world, Eric Pickles is an a**e and I wouldn't throw my hat in his ring Coatesy.....

  2. Sleeping tonight, the sidewinderJanuary 27, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    If our friend Eric was serious about making savings without shutting libraries, he wouldn't have front loaded the cuts to the coming financial year, would he?

    He would have said:

    "Alright chaps and chapesses in councils, we've got to make some godawful cuts (well, we don't have to, but we want to). Now, we all know that we could do these cuts sensibly by spreading them over the whole three years of the budget allocation, and giving you some time to see if there are ways to do these things more efficiently because surely there are.

    "Of course there would still be a reduction in service, but you could minimise its impact and do it in a more sensible way.

    "Well, we've had a think about that and it would seem that if you went down that route the political impact of any cuts would kick in closer to a general election. That would be bad for us. So you have to make all the cuts this year. I know that means that you won't have any time to make them sensibly and you'll rush them.

    "It also means your director of finance and chief exec will panic because they'll see a hole appearing in the social services budget, and understandably their priority is going to be stopping kids getting killed, so they'll cast their eyes around for an easy up front saving, and guess where their gaze will alight? Libraries, and who can blame them? After all, I've not exactly made it easy for them, have I?

    "And when this has all happened I'll blame them and say they should have sought savings knowing full well that my frontloading made that nigh on impossible.

    "And the best thing will be useful idiots will take what I've said hook, line and sinker and will manage to blame librarians, or councils, anyone but the actual architect of the smashing of the public library service - me, the Secretary of State for Communities and the man who actually controls how much cash goes to libraries. "

    "What's that I hear, go and look at Hillingdon? I might just do that. Toddle pip"

    [Exit, waddling, stage left]

  3. Thanks, Sleeping Tonight the Sidewinder. We think you're entirely correct. The government strategy is blitzkrieg: the more they destroy and capture early on, the better.