Liberal Democrats launch petition against Tory bus cuts

Why are we waiting?

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have launched a petition to reverse the Tories’ 100 per cent cuts to rural bus services.

The petition, started by Liberal Democrat county councillor Susan van der Ven, “Stopping the cuts to bus services in Cambridgeshire” reads:

“We the people of Cambridgeshire are opposed to the Conservative County Council’s decision to scrap 100% of funding for subsidised buses, which led to an application for Judicial Review.

“Socially necessary bus services are vital to the whole of Cambridgeshire, especially for young people who need to access to centres of employment, those with mobility issues who wish to access the wider community and its resources, and for tackling the root problem of ‘rural isolation’.

“We also believe that the “Cambridgeshire Future Transport” project, to which half of bus funding has been transferred, is fundamentally flawed and not capable of delivering an adequate replacement for the existing public transport network, never mind the improved system that has been promised.

“We call on the Conservative administration to reinstate 100% of the cuts to bus funding and to conduct a systematic view of Cambridgeshire residents’ transport needs before making any changes to it.”

The petition can be found here: http://epetition.cambridgeshire.public-i.tv/epetition_core/view/Buses

Library campaigners present Tory councillors with 8,000 signature-petition

books

The Save Cambridgeshire  Libraries petition was presented to Tory county councillors at Shire Hall yesterday (28th September). It is the Conservative administration at the County Council that we need to persuade to keep our libraries in their current form. Professor Jane Elliott, the chair of the Friends of Rock Road Library, spoke eloquently of the need for a professional service rooted in the local community.

The 8,000+ names calling for Cambridgeshire County Council to keep libraries open with professional librarians were presented to Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet at Shire Hall and the Cabinet  heard from campaigners from various Cambridge libraries. There was a strong contingent from Rock Road Library to ‘welcome’ the councillors – you may have seen us on the news. If not, you may still catch it at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rpwxj.

Thank you to all the people who signed the petition, emailed friends, stood around in school playgrounds, as well as everyone still involved with the campaign.

Here is the wording of the petition, which garnered 2,500 electronic signatures and 5,500 on paper. Stupendous.

We the undersigned call upon Cambridgeshire County Council to reject proposals to close libraries or to replace the existing professional service with a reduced service run by volunteers. We believe that libraries are a vital part of the community.

The Council has now dropped its plan to set up a Trust to manage the library service but is still looking at the use of volunteers. While we know there are many people who value their libraries and are willing to spend some of their own time helping to work in the library and raise funds, there is still a need for the experience and expertise of professional librarians.

Co-location, putting public services together is an interesting idea if it can work without too much compromise. Books and bookcases however, do not move easily, so it may be more practical for other services to come to the library rather than for the library to move elsewhere.