Unite warns against council plans to close mobile library

Unite has warned against Greenwich Council’s plans to close mobile library services, arguing it could threaten children’s literacy.

The service currently delivers around 33,000 books a year to children and Unite has said that plans to scrap it are ‘short sighted’.

Unite has advised that scrapping the mobile library service will only save an estimated £126,000, which it described as a ‘drop in the ocean’ compared to the benefits to children’s literacy, which Unite believes is key to obtaining decent employment in the future.

It is calling on the council to rethink its plans and take 12 months to review its position.

Onay Kasab, Unite regional officer said: “Depriving kids of 33,000 books and a chance to fall in love with reading are retrograde steps. Parents should be very worried at what is planned.

“We believe that the council is being short-sighted and its claim that all the borough’s schools are in walking distance to one of Greenwich’s 12 static libraries is unrealistic, given the busy school day and demands on teachers.

"We call on the council to rethink its plans to close the mobile library, then to review the position after 12 months. If it is shut down, it will never reopen.

“Instead, the council should renew the mobile service for another year and engage in genuine discussion with schools and our library members on ways to address any concerns the council has.”