the disgraceful decision by Lancashire County Council to withdraw the magazine provision service from all its libraries is nothing less than discrimination against the older and most vulnerable group in society.
Older, retired people, existing on small pensions, cannot possibly afford to buy the magazines that were provided at the libraries. This group, more than any other, relied on libraries for access to this important source of the contemporary printed word. Now, at a stroke, we are excluded from this access. In most other spheres of service provision, such discrimination would be illegal, so why have our county councillors done this? It is certainly immoral.
While retired, low-income people are excluded completely from this vital service, the ranks of computers now threatening to oust the printed word from our libraries appear undiminished and buckets of money appear to still being thrown at anything to do with “yoof”.
Over the border in West Yorkshire, things are very different. Bradford Metropolitan, for example, continues to provide a magazine service in its libraries.
Indeed, Keighley puts Lancashire’s libraries in Pendle to shame and shows how a library service can still be run in the present economic situation. Friends tell me the same is true of Calderdale Council.
I appeal to Lancashire county councillors to think again and reinstate this vital service. If others can manage to provide it, why not Lancashire?
Haverholt Close, Colne