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No more newspapers at Surrey Libraries!

newspapers

5:18pm 21st February 2018
(Updated 10:35am 23rd February 2018)

Surrey County Council has announced that they will be withdrawing newspapers from libraries as part of £100,000 in library budget cuts

“We are facing severe budget pressures due to rising demands for services like adult social care and falling government funding" a Surrey County Council spokesperson said.

The service currently costs the council £60, 000 per year and comes out of the same budget that is used to buy books. 

Labour County Councillor Robert Evans criticized the decision, commenting that "many Surrey residents will be bitterly disappointed" by this news. He added, "this is another example of how Government cuts are really hitting home". 

"With some papers costing £2 a day, the provision of newspapers in libraries can save many people £10 a week or some £500 a year,"

He said: "people should contact their MP to complain about the funding for local government."

From April the only newspaper supplied by the libraries themselves will be the 'i' newspaper.

Surrey County Council said: "We chose a paper that provides the most balanced views" in response to "a level of concern that the papers we currently provide have a political bias".

They added "we appreciate that going to the library to read the paper is an important part of many people's day,and so we did not want to remove the service entirely. The lower cost of the 'i' helps us to retain it."

If residents wish to read a different newspaper, all library members have free access to Press Reader online both at home and in libraries, which provides a range of national newspapers and magazines. 

Libraries will also be accepting donations of the following papers:

  • The Guardian 
  • The Times
  • The Financial Times
  • Daily Mail
  • The Telegraph
  • Metro/Evening Standard
  • Foreign Language papers
  • Local Papers

If you want to make a formal complaint or query about these cuts you can ask a member of staff at your local library for a complaints form or contact:

The Library Information Service is: c/o Guildford Library, 77 North Street, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4AL.

When Hampshire County Council was asked if they would be following suit, a spokesperson responded:

"Each library continues to provide a selection of papers dependent on customer demand. However, as with all our aspects of our library service, supplying hard copies of newspapers remains under review, given current cost pressures.” 

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