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Tower Hamlets council needs to listen to the voices of people over Bancroft library

PUBLISHED: 13:25 06 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:40 05 October 2010

I am saddened but not surprised that the petition to Gordon Brown to save the Bancroft Library has been rejected. It is in my view hypocritical to say that these matters should be left to local councils when they appear to be bent on such vandalism. First

I am saddened but not surprised that the petition to Gordon Brown to save the Bancroft Library has been rejected. It is in my view hypocritical to say that these matters should be left to local councils when they appear to be bent on such vandalism. Firstly, the government has intervened time and again to restrict the discretion of local councils over many important issues. Secondly, the fact is local democracy is deeply flawed in this country. First past the post means that parties supported by a minority often get large majorities on the council as in Tower Hamlets, and then there is all the dodgy goings on with postal voting on demand. Gordon Brown should have done the right thing and told local councillors not to be so stupid.

However the response to the petition does say that local councils should consult local communities before making changes to library services. I hope the council takes this advice because they have not properly consulted so far and they are certainly not listening to the overwhelming view of people in the borough and that is that Bancroft Library must stay.

The Bancroft Library is a treasure in the heart of Tower Hamlets. It must not be sold and its invaluable archive of East End history must not be dispersed or placed in storage. Instead it needs proper investment and promotion to enable more people to use and to know about this wonderful archive of our history.

I intend to continue to do all I can to ensure the Bancroft Library is saved. I hope as many as possible will turn up to lobby the Cabinet meeting at the Town Hall at 5.30 on Wednesday 8th October and then lobby the full council meeting the following Wednesday.

George Galloway MP

House of Commons

SW1A 0AA

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