Local government management confirm no savings to be made in Carlow/Kilkenny library amalgamation – IMPACT

Ahead of the Kilkenny branch AGM IMPACT has made the statement that the proposed amalgamation of Kilkenny/Carlow library service will not result in cost savings. The AGM will take place tonight 26th February 2015 in the Clubhouse, at 5.45pm.

Shay Clinton, assistant general secretary with IMPACT said “When pressed by the union, local government management could not indicate the financial savings to be gained from the proposed amalgamation of Carlow/Kilkenny library service.

“The union believes there are no savings to be gained and that the project is merely window dressing.”

Under the proposed amalgamations the number of library services nationwide would be brought from 32 down to 23.

Mr Clinton has a number of concerns regarding these proposals. He said “If these amalgamations go ahead public representatives would lose control of decisions affecting their local libraries including issues like closures. Instead of local decision these proposals are driven by the Dublin based Department of Environment Community and Local Government, and the Local Government Management Agency.

As there are little or no savings to be made by this move he said “IMPACT would question what the benefits are of this scheme, and indeed if there are any.”

Mr Clinton commended local councillors for their support of the campaign. He said “All 18 Carlow Councillors have given notice of a motion for discussion at the March Council meeting which states ‘that the elected members of Carlow County Council reject any proposal to amalgamate County Carlow’s Library Service with any other Library Service’.

“Kilkenny Councillors have already passed a motion on February 16th stating ‘That the Members Kilkenny County Council oppose any plan towards shared library services between the Counties of Carlow and Kilkenny due to the adverse impact it will have on resources, library staffing and the provision of a County Librarian for each County. Kilkenny County Council will work with all stakeholders including the Department of Environment to develop a sustainable funding model that would not downgrade services, achieve required efficiencies and ensure that each affected County has a dedicated County Librarian. This motion recognises the vital economic, social and cultural service that our libraries provide to both urban and rural communities and the positive influence they can have on literacy levels Nationally’.”

This Motion was proposed by Cllr. Malcolm Noonan (GP) and Seconded by Cllr. Maurice Shortall (Lab).