Library service will still be available
FULWELL Library is not closing but in future its opening may be restricted to as little as 15 hours each week if Labour’s proposals are adopted.
Under Labour’s tenure the library service has been allowed to wither with a steady reduction in the new and replacement book fund – the amount of money spent on buying new books. This is now as low as three per cent of the library budget, meaning that many specialist books can no longer be provided.
Recently, Fulwell councillors obtained funding for the refurbishment of the garden courtyard within the library curtilage. The reduced opening hours may mean the loss of this facility and that of Fulwell’s unofficial community meeting place where residents come together, often with their elected representatives to exchange ideas and receive help.
The proposals include creating a north area library hub at the distant Bunny Hill Centre on North Hylton Road. To counter these reductions in service it is proposed to encourage the use of electronic library facilities such as iPads and Kindles.
At any one time, many of the library-based computers are not working and those that are working have purchasing sites, such as those used for booking holidays, blocked.
Fulwell councillors have asked senior officers about proposals to update the hardware, software and unifying settings across the city. We have asked if free training in the use of information technology will be readily available for residents needing it.
It has been pointed out that savings may be made if the North East local authorities get together to buy common licences for the down loading of e-books meaning that more specialist academic and cultural books in addition to enjoyable novels may be made available.
Properly managed, savings should not mean a reduction in the quality of the service delivered.
Bob Francis, George Howe, John Wiper.
No place for march
WHO on earth in Sunderland City Council sanctioned the Orange Order Walk through the streets of our city.
A solely protestant organisation with an alarming history, linked to Irish Paramilitaries.
Hiding under the remit of defending protestant civil and religious liberties, this was a grotesque show of triumphalism about a battle hundreds of years ago, in another country, that has nothing to do with Sunderland.
Decent people in Northern Ireland and the west of Scotland will tell you that these shows of sectarian hatred should be confined to the dustbin of history.
In a democracy, people are entitled to express their views, however distasteful other people may find them but how long before we see the equivalent catholic organisations doing the same? Let these sectarian bigots take their marches elsewhere.
Name and address supplied
No way to go on
I WAS absolutely disgusted at the letter from a Penshaw resident (June 22) moaning about the terrible time she is having because of The Hoppings.
How spiteful and selfish can a person be – hoping for rain to wash the fair out. I can’t believe such people exist. We have had months of bad weather where people have gone through all kinds of problems and she is hoping for more rain so her window views will not be disturbed.
She’ll be in seventh heaven after Sunday’s torrential downpour.
I live in Roker and for over 20 years we have had the Airshow and sometimes it is a nuisance with parking and noise, but I wouldn’t dream of going on the way she does.
Let people have something to look forward to in this time of austerity and stop being such a killjoy. Festivals are happening all over the country so get a life and accept it.
Live and let live.