Valerie Defends Walsall South Libraries in Westminster

On Monday 28 February, Valerie secured an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons about the Provision of Library Services in Walsall South. 

Valerie has been active in the campaign to keep libraries open in Walsall South.  Many of them, both in Walsall and nationally, have no long-term security because of cuts imposed on local councils by the Government.  However, they are well used and provide an irreplaceable service to the community, and especially to children.  In Walsall, more than 1 million visitors and more than 1 million books were lent out in 2008 to 2010.  Nationally, 750,000 people visit a library every day.

In her speech, Valerie said: “If we carry on with the threats to our libraries, we will deny the next generation not only the right to be whatever they want to be in their imagination, but their access to knowledge through books.”

Despite the high use of Libraries in Walsall South and the benefits they deliver to the community, their long-term future is far from guaranteed.  Valerie attended a protest outside Pleck Library on 2 February where a petition signed by over 650 local people was presented.   A few days after the protest, Walsall Council said that the Libraries would be safe for a year; a much longer commitment is needed. 

You can read a transcript of Valerie’s speech by following this link: