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Authors speak in defence of London's libraries

12th November 2010

Some of the UK's top authors have signed up to the campaign to protect London's libraries from government spending cuts.

Will Self, Helen Dunmore and Benjamin Zephaniah are among the bestselling writers who have lent their support to a fight to save libraries from closure, the Evening Standard reports.

Several of the capital's councils, including Lewisham, Wandsworth and Hammersmith and Fulham, have said libraries will be shut as they attempt to implement the 27 per cent reduction in local authority spending set by chancellor George Osborne.

Asserting her opposition to the plans, Dunmore told the newspaper: 'It will weaken literacy and weaken communities. [Libraries] are not a frill, they are a vital part of society.'

Self added: 'Libraries should be one of the aspects of public services that doesn't come under cost-benefit analysis.'

Other writers who have stepped up to defend London's libraries include former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion and Charlie Higson.

Last month, Arts Council England revealed that a number of literature and reading groups, including Booktrust, London's Poetry Society and the Arvon Foundation, will face budget cuts of 6.9 per cent to meet the aims of the government's Comprehensive Spending Review.
 

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