Mirror: Tory austerity strips more than 3,000 computers with internet from libraries

June 07, 2018 , ,

Tory austerity has seen more than 3,000 computers with internet access stripped from libraries, Labour reveals today.

Hard-up families and the elderly are likely to be harder hit by the loss as they rely on publicly-available terminals and are less likely to have the world wide web at home.

Research by the House of Commons Library shows there were 34,794 terminals with internet in libraries in England in 2009/10 - the last full year of a Labour government

But by 2016/17, after seven years of Tory cuts - including slashing town hall funding from Whitehall by 40% - the number plunged to 31,647.

In contrast, in Wales where Labour has been in power since the Welsh assembly was created in 1999, the number rose slightly from 2,840 to 2,891.

Shadow Libraries Minister Kevin Brennan said: “Tory austerity is decimating digital services in libraries up and down the country.

“This is in direct contravention of the Government’s own library targets and is particularly harmful at a time when the Government is increasingly demanding that vulnerable people apply for state support online.

“Libraries are crucial to our communities and they are resilient, but these continuing, savage cuts put our precious public library services at risk.

“It’s poorer people and the elderly who will be hit hardest by this as they often struggle to afford the internet at home.”

You can read the article in full here.