Library staff in cuts protest

Libraries in Falkirk district have had their hours cut
Libraries in Falkirk district have had their hours cut
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Library staff will stage a demonstration to protect the service from cuts.

Workers and union officials will meet at Falkirk Steeple on Saturday morning to launch their ‘Save Our Libraries’ campaign aimed at convincing Town Hall bosses that Falkirk’s they are about more than just books.

Protestors will be urging the public to sign postcards which will be sent to Falkirk Council leader Councillor Craig Martin calling on him to scrap controversial plans to cut opening hours across the district from 54 to 45 a week from September.

Gray Allan, UNISON’S Falkirk Council branch secretary, said: “Cuts of this magnitude will devastate our public libraries and UNISON is prepared to fight the decision every step of the way.

“Our libraries are a vital resource for the local community.

‘‘They offer services such as free Internet access to many who otherwise could not afford it.

‘‘They also provide affordable access to music and films on CD and DVD as well as fully trained staff who provide expert support to the public, helping them find the information and resources they need.”

Area organiser Kevin O’Neil warned: “This demonstration is just the start. We’re urging the council not to close the book on Falkirk’s libraries but see how much they mean to communities and how particularly important they are to the elderly and people on low incomes.”

The council was told earlier this year that opening the libraries later and closing earlier could save £174,000 a year but that figure has been challenged by the union.