Save libraries! Bring back curtain twitchers!

CCTV is a marvellous thing.  All that watching people and stuff.  Once upon a time it was a particularly annoying curtain twitcher type who would know everything you do and tell all and sundry.  Now it’s random strangers sitting in control rooms following you around the streets and seeing where you buy your underwear from.  Oh yeah, and watching criminals and stuff.  That bit is the important bit.  Not the creepy, “follow people around without them noticing” business.  Or even all that “creation of a surveillance state that would make a totalitarian regime so much more efficient should it come into being” hand-wringy nonsense.

But it’s costly business this CCTV business.  Over the course of the past four years, local authorities have spent £500m on their CCTV operations.  That’s way more expensive than the local busybody who, in most cases, did not charge for their services.  So why not do away with the security cameras and just employ Mrs Curtaintwitcher from No.37 Sir Valence Close? She’d love it and she’d be a damned sight cheaper.

Library saving rating: 5/5

(Source: Flickr / enjoy-surveillance)

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Why not make the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee really special?

I love the Queen.  She’s great isn’t she?  She’s like your gran. Like your incredibly rich gran who has a lovely range of brooches and hats.  And this year is her Diamond Jubilee. Woohoo!  Get that bunting out and have a street party.  Or, as the government would have it, “get that lady a new bloody great boat”.

Now, much as I love a good boat (who wouldn’t love that as a present), it strikes me as a little, er, over-the-top.  I mean, boats are lovely presents but is it really necessary in a time of austerity.  So here’s a suggestion.  Instead of a spanking new boat, why not buy one of these lovely Diamond Anniversary Gift Boxes.  Not only will the Queen be able to read the newspaper of her choice published on the day of her coronation (a great thing in itself as surely she wouldn’t have had time to do so on the day) but it’ll save £59,999,960. Bonus.  And as an extra bonus, why not invest some of that money in our public libraries?  Now that would be a legacy we can all appreciate.  God Save The Queen, The Queen Saves The Libraries. Nice.

Library saving rating: 5/5

(Source: Flickr / mbiskoping)

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To the reserve stacks!

Saving up is fun isn’t it? You know, you put a few pounds and pennies together to make sure that you have a bit of money for that ‘sudden’ and ‘unexpected’ disaster. See, sensible innit?

Of course, there are many things that could suddenly and unexpectedly happen. Like waking up one morning and finding that your library has closed. Wow! I was not expecting that! Did you expect that? No. Shocking eh?

Luckily, your local council saves up pennies to deal with ‘sudden unexpected costs’. And guess how much they have in reserve? Go on, guess. Nowhere near. In March 2012 English local authorities expect to be holding £10.8bn in reserves. Yep. 10.8 BILLION. Wouldn’t take much of that to save the libraries would it?

Library saving rating: 5/5

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Save libraries, give meerkats

Everyone loves meerkats don’t they?  Cute and fluffy with their cheeky little faces, they are in no way annoying or irritating.  So here’s a thought.  When it comes to paying off your managing director, why not give them a cuddly meerkat instead of a £450,000 pay-off?  They will love the meerkat (who wouldn’t?) and you can then invest the remaining £449,990 in improving your public libraries. Simples. (Did I just say that? Somebody shoot me…)

Library saving rating: 4/5 

(Source: Flickr / anemoneprojectors)

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Cut the experiments, save the libraries!

The Big Society is so now dahling. Everyone’s talking about it. Although admittedly most of the people who are talking about it are saying “wtf is it?”.  Still, at least they are talking about it yeah?  Stop being so damn negative you square.  Just look at your local council. They get it. They ain’t being all negative and dissing The Big Man’s plan. No, they love it.  So much so, they’d rather plough money into this crazy experiment than invest in your libraries and other services. So well done Kent, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire for being prepared to experiment with taxpayers’ money.  Boo sucks to all you whingers. I mean seriously, anyone would think you want the moon on a stick.

Library saving rating: 5/5

(Source: Flickr / m4dgroup)

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Cut the vanity, increase the book fund

Councillors! Why waste thousands of pounds on expensive portraits so people can remember/throw darts at you and proudly exclaim “s/he was the genius that killed our library service”?  Save money by using your nearest photo booth.  It’ll only cost a fiver and will be incredibly difficult to use as a dartboard.  You can then spend the remaining £3,175 on improving the book stock. Sorted.

Library saving rating: 1/5

(Source: Flickr / hopeleslie)

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Save libraries! Eat less!

Pigs in a trough

It’s not hard to make your own lunch and it’s cheap as chips (literally if you eat chips).  So why don’t councillors make their own lunch rather than having a free lunch at the cost of taxpayers (approx. cost to the taxpayer in Kent: £12,000pa)?  It might not save a library, but it will buy a heck of a lot of books.

Library saving rating: 2/5

(Source: Flickr / pyth0ns)

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Bye bye County Hall!

Hey Councillors! You say everything is online and we don’t need libraries anymore? Guess what? Everything you need to administer council affairs is available online. The solution is obvious…

So bye bye county hall, you are now surplus to requirements.

Library saving rating: 5/5

(Source: Flickr / dpblackwood)

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