Apparently not. It costs about £400,000 to keep 6 local libraries open. But Brent has convinced the establishment it can’t afford this. Probably because it is busy wasting £hundreds of millions of taxpayer money (below).
Justice Pill said today:
Given the scale of the spending reductions the council was required to make … a decision that the library service should bear a share of the reduction was not, in my judgment, unlawful.
Perhaps he should have a chat with Gareth Daniel, Chief Executive of Brent Council:
the reality is that these inevitably controversial initiatives represent just a very small part of our total £42 million savings requirement for the 2011/12 financial year.
Such a small saving has not stopped Brent from spending enormous amounts of (paid) time and money defending the policy.
Brent can’t afford our libraries, but it can afford:
£550,000 for Willesden Green library – about to be bulldozed due to it being a failure. It costs more than 6 libraries put together.
£100 million mortgage on the Civic Centre – this includes that vital £4 million “tree-lined boulevard” – this project hasn’t seen a penny cut.
£3 million on a single mega-library no one asked for.
£17.3 million after failing to collect unpaid debt.
£2.5 million on the salaries of just 19 council officers – putting Brent in the Top 10 Town Hall Rich List 2011.
£205,000 salary for Chief Executive Gareth Daniel – more than the Prime Minister.
£1-2 million per month on consultants.
£800,000 Ward working (half spent on admin alone, and the rest on flowerbeds and graffiti workshops)
£500,000 on Christmas decorations for Willesden Green High Street.
£180,000 a year on the Brent Mayor.
£150,000 a year on the loss making Brent Magazine – paid for by council departments.
That totals around £140 million (give or take) that could be BETTER SPENT on libraries, nurseries and centres for the disabled. It dwarfs the £42million Brent says it needs to save. Priorities eh?