Doncaster’s first ‘READ IN’ will take place today, January 29th, at Doncaster Central Library, Waterdale, from 1pm until 3pm.

A series of further READ INs are planned for next Saturday, 5th February, with Moorends, Bawtry and Sprotbrough having confirmed so far.

Award-winning children’s author and founder of The Campaign for the Book, Alan Gibbons, will be at Moorends (11am-1pm) and best-selling author, Richard Benson, will be at Sprotbrough (10am – 1pm).

Please get to any of these events if you can.

And don’t forget to show your support via SAVE DONCASTER LIBRARIES.

 

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The list of libraries threatened with closure in Doncaster has been reduced from 14 to 12, but that’s still 12 too many!

The people who need their local libraries the most – kids and the elderly – don’t usually have the option of popping along to the next town or to the Central Library in Doncaster (and why should they?). Our local branch is earmarked for closure, according to the council it’s ‘underused’ – more like underfunded for the last 20 years! – but there are always people there whenever we visit. (Maybe they should try buying the Mayor tickets for the St Leger, line the right pockets and the council soon finds £200,000 to cut down some trees! 😉 )

Some might argue that the internet is a viable alternative to the library, but reports show that the internet actually discourages Deep Thinking and the development of long term memory.

Some might argue that for Deeper Thinking there’s always our education system. Setting aside the blatantly classist nature of modern education which has left working class males at a distinct disadvantage, there are plenty of people who don’t get on with school, but who have the potential to make a real difference – as this article on the Save Doncaster Libraries blog clearly testifies.

Our mates at the PermaFuture project have already mentioned the incredible story of William Kamkwamba, for whom the library was, quite literally, a lifeline.  On a lighter not there’s the more recent story of Robert Nay, the 14 year old who has created a number 1 free iPhone App.

‘Bubble Ball’ was released on December 29th, 2010, and has already been downloaded more than three million times, knocking Angry Birds off the very competitive top spot. Nay says:

“My friend’s dad suggested I try making an iPhone app and I thought, ‘Why not, that’d be pretty cool,’ so I checked out a book from the library.”

The teenager, from Utah, USA, used library books (and just a bit of help from his mum) to teach himself the code needed to make the app and to give himself the understanding of gravity needed to create an authentic “physics puzzle game”. Now young Bobby is CEO of Nay Industries!

So how important are libraries? VERY BLOODY IMPORTANT!!!

http://savedoncasterlibraries.wordpress.com

Our friends at The PermaFuture Project have created a series of posters for the SAVE DONCASTER LIBRARIES campaign. Visit their blog post – http://permaproject.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/save-doncaster-libraries-free-posters/ – download the files and get printing!

Don’t forget to visit – http://savedoncasterlibraries.wordpress.com/ – and offer your help and support.

The newly emerging Doncaster based group, The PermaFuture Project, were so concerned about the propoasal to close 14 local libraries in the Doncaster region that they’ve decided to launch a blog ahead of time to help raise awareness.

Of all Doncaster’s sweeping and ill-considered cuts this could have the most immediate impact on local communities. While council bosses still receive their greedy fat-cat salaries, the already deprived communities of Doncaster could lose one of their most important resources.

Visit the SAVE DONCASTER LIBRARIES blog, sign the petition, write to your MP, contact the DMBC and the mayor, and if the worse happens – occupy your local library! We cannot let them close!

It’s fair to say that Doncaster’s completely inadequate council haven’t got a great track record when it comes to supporting communities. Their mismanagement of the Earth Centre to the tune of £100,000,000 means that the people of Denaby and Conisbrough already find it hard to fund other community projects – and now the council want to shut their libraries!

Picture from Save Doncaster Libraries

Denaby and Conisbrough libraries are among the 14 local branches earmarked for closure by Doncaster council as it tries to save money thanks to the Coalition’s devastating public spending cuts. The council allege that they’re targeting libraries in our region which are ‘under used’, but Save Doncaster Libraries refute this claim:

This is simply not the case. Cantley Library, for example, is an incredibly well-used library which serves a huge area including Cantley, Branton, Auckley, Finningley and Blaxton, yet is under threat of closure. If any libraries are under-used, it is because their opening hours and resources do not meet the needs of their communities. This is due to poor management by the council and a lack of promotion of the role and resources of the library service, not a lack of need from the people of Doncaster. Julie Grant, Assistant Director of Customer Strategy and Development admits in the Library Service Review itself that:

“We recognise that our marketing and outreach resources are insufficient to have real impact.”

So we’ll say it again: the closures are based on cost-cutting alone, the review is a sham, and the changes and the proposals do not take into account the needs of communities or the value of libraries.

As we’ve said before the only real way to fight the coalitions devastating attacks on community life (it’s ironic that their proposed ‘Big Society’ is going to be used to decimate ‘Small Community’) is to focus the remaining public funds and existing resources on the development of a sustainable and self-sufficient local infrastructure.

Doncaster has an incredibly rich and varied resource base – fertile agricultural areas, strong centralised transport links, vast swathes of council/public owned land, an abundance of brownfield sites, several unique ecologies, an industrious if undervalued populace, etc, etc – which should make us one of the richest regions rather than the poorest. The only reason we’re not thriving is because central government – both Tory and Labour – have continuously dis-empowered local government – and local government has consistently aided and abetted them!

The economic crisis, combined with peak-oil and climate change, now makes greater localisation a vital imperative. The council should focus its expenditure on promoting locally produced energy, food and resources rather than the appeasement of central government and big business. This would allow more money to circulate for longer within our communities, which would in turn protect people during the hard times ahead. We need to become ever less reliant on an ever less reliable government.

In order to do this we must develop the relevant knowledge and skills within our communities. And local libraries would be perfect for such an endeavor!

Libraries are not just about literacy – though Doncaster has such a low literacy rate that this alone should be reason to keep them open – they’re about knowledge and communication – which will be vital to the creation of a self-reliant future.

Offer your support and keep track of the situation in Doncaster here – http://savedoncasterlibraries.wordpress.com/

See a map of cuts and proposed cuts to libraries here – http://falseeconomy.org.uk/blog/library-closures-the-full-infuriating-picture

We asked our local Conservative candidate why her party hated the people of Doncaster. The reply was…

Dear Mr Goodfella,

Thank you for your email.

In my opinion, the Conservative party does not only not hate the people
of Doncaster, but is very concerned that they should prosper and reap
the benefits of the town’s advantages.

Conservative councillors in Doncaster are working extremely hard to
improve living standards, education, housing and job opportunities for
people in the area.

I am very sorry that you appear to think otherwise.

With all good wishes for a happy Christmas,

xxxxxx

Having wished us a Happy Christmas we thought it was only right and proper to return the seasonal cheer…

Hi Xxxxxx,

Sorry, my mistake. I didn’t realise that you’re party inflicted cuts which the Local Government Association has labeled the “toughest in living memory” on us because they cared for us so much.

Have a great Christmas. (Though may we suggest you take the opportunity to watch one of the many versions of A Christmas Carol which will be broadcast over the X-Mas period – Dickens’ seems to be so relevant once again, don’t you think?).

Warm regards,
Robin

Don’t you just love the season of good will 😉

Cartoon by Christopher Sharrock 

In Doncaster we’re still reeling from the economic (…and actual, thanks largely to the Met and the British army) blows delivered by the last Tory government. Now they’re sticking the boot in with a 8.9% reduction in council funding… this financial year alone!

The Local Government Association has labeled these cuts the “toughest in living memory”.

In some ways we can understand Eric Pickles decision, he’s obviously naïve… what exactly can that fat bastard know about deprivation? Isn’t it about time he deprived himself of a few meals? (PAID FOR USING HIS SECOND HOME EXPENSES NO DOUBT!) But that’s the real problem here; bloated millionaire shit-heads are making decisions that affect a world they have no connection with and know nothing about. Isn’t it time we took control of our own future?..

Things are going to get tough around here. But don’t be fooled into thinking it would have been better under a Labour government. We already had a notoriously crap 1-star council under their rule. In truth the three main political parties in the UK (or should that be 2 now the Lib Dems have shown their true colour?) are following a single minded Neoliberal agenda. The sad truth is that democracy – everywhere – has been appropriated by insatiable corporatism… it’s the same sad anti-poor/anti-planet story the world over regardless of whose supposed to be in the driving seat!

The only real answer is to take back power from the banks and corporations – and their political lackeys. We would like to propose that Doncaster Council becomes the first OCCUPIED COUNCIL in the UK!

That’s right, kick out the government and self-manage – we can hardly do a worse job!

Council workers know their job better than central government. Let’s pull together and build our own completely autonomous local infrastructure. Let’s appropriate all the necessary resources, machinery, knowledge, manpower, etc.  (which we paid for in the first place) and carry on regardless. We can pay the money that we would have paid in taxes to the guys doing the jobs and they, in turn, can spend it locally. Job done.

Ok, we know it’s just a dream – but WHAT a dream! –  and that the people of Donny and their lackluster leaders are all too likely to sit back and watch their services go to shit around them as per usual (COME ON PEOPLE, PROVE US WRONG!) – but if you are incensed enough to have a polite word with the Tory Scum who are attacking our town then leave a comment here…

http://yorkshireconservatives.wordpress.com/2008/12/16/568/#comment-540

A large contingent of anarchists (and a couple of hangers on) assembled on the steps of Doncaster Mansion House today to oppose the Tory cuts.

You may notice some AMP ‘Best Cut‘ posters among the crowd. We gave away hundreds of posters and badges which were very warmly welcomed – one women even noted “I’m not a fan of personal violence, but I’ve got to have one of those!” Class War – Barnsdale Brigade made their presence widely known before catching a train to the Leeds zine fair (Happy Birthday Footprints!) and then to the pub – job done!

A big thanks to our Press Officer, Chairman Mo – an ex-market trader – and his cries of “Get your free Cameron Christmas gift-wrap here!” which managed to drown out the usual trot microphones…

CORDON have organised an anti-cuts demo in Doncaster. In their own words…

The Con-Dem cuts will hit Doncaster hard. Thousands of jobs are at stake, including many in the NHS, Post and Council, and services we rely on will be devastated.With the scrapping of EMA and the withdrawal of the cap on tuition fees, working class kids will be excluded from higher education, effectively  cutting off the route out of poverty for our children.

We need to make [this demo] the biggest Doncaster has ever seen. Make your voice heard, be there on the 13th November. Defend Jobs, Defend Services from the Con-Dems and their supporters within Doncaster Council. Click here to download leaflets for the demo.

Saturday 13th November
Assemble at Mansion House 12.00pm

Everyone should go along and send a message to the government…

https://barnsdale.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/bill-rawcliffe.jpg

It’s official, Bill Rawcliffe, the RMT official from York we talked about here, IS to stand in North Doncaster.

Bill was among 300 people who lost their jobs at the Jarvis base in Doncaster when the firm went into administration last month.

This is particularly good news when you consider the shower of shit who are also standing…

The Labour candidate is Environment Secretary and New Labour love-child, Ed Miliband (who utterly failed to support the Vestas workers, which is why the RMT is fielding a candidate). Then we have Sophie Brodie, Conservative (ever popular choice in an ex-coal-mining region!); Pamela Chambers, British National Party (definitely not a Nazi, honest); Wayne Crawshaw, English Democrat (just look at our Mayor!); Edward Sanderson, Liberal Democrat (hmmm); and David Wilson, UK Independence Party (UKIP, BNP and English Democrats – what the hell have we done wrong?!? :-().