19 June 2008

Our Cultural Challenge in The Borders

According to the BBC web site, plans to transfer control of Scottish Borders' libraries and museums to a charitable trust could fall foul of the law. This is according to Unison, the trade union whose members would be most affected.
According to Unison, moral reasons made the plan a non-starter.
As they were unlawful, under the 1887 Public Libraries Act.

Are they serious? An act brought in over one hundred years ago when our society operated in a wholly different way should be used to stand in the way of a discussion and possible change that might allow for our cultural improvement in the 21st century?

The legislation imposed a statutory duty on councils to run library and museum services. The union said the Act had never been repealed therefore hiving the service off would "clearly breach" that legislation. Unison mounted an unsuccessful legal challenge to Glasgow City Council's decision to transfer cultural and leisure services to a charitable trust last year. The union has condemned the "uncertain future" of a "democratically accountable public service".

For me what we should be exploring is every possible way to improve and invigorate our cultural facilities in the Borders. With the internet, changing reading patterns, our ability to travel more freely and the financial demands placed upon us by our changing economy we must look at new and innovative ways to meet this challenge.

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