Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Poorest Children Hit by Library Closures

Brent library campaigners have accused Brent Council of making service cuts without calculating the impact on the borough's poorest children.  Figures based on the Free School Meals (FSM) figures for the three schools nearest each library show that all but one are above the national FSM average of 21%:

Kensal Rise - 41%
Tokyngton -   40%
Neasden   -   38%
Cricklewood -31%
Barham Park 28%
Preston Park  27%
In contrast Kingsbury library,which is to remain open, serves a population with 21% FSM.

Graham Durham, of the Save Cricklewood Library Campaign commented:

' Councillors need to consider the impact on the poorest families of the library closures. It is the poorest families who cannot afford a car or the cost of public transport and who will be denied access to libraries when their local library closes.The council claims to be protecting the poor from the cuts but this is simply not happening. Alongside the government cuts in Educational Maintenance Allowance and student grant fee rises, education will be closed to the poorest children.
The Council agrees that there are an additional 250 children in each 5 year old cohort in Brent meaning an additional 3,000 children by 2020.It seems that, unless the Council changes course, this will be the generation that does not have the means to read books or have a quiet space to study.'

No comments: