Mary Ratcliffe : Open Forum : Cabinet : 22nd July 2009
STATEMENT TO OPEN FORUM : MARY RATCLIFFE : 22 JULY 2009
Statement Read in Open Forum by Mary Ratcliffe
In case I am denied the opportunity to speak at this evening's 'open meeting', I am expressing my thoughts and my concerns in the written word
The small libraries that are threatened with closure are absolutely vital to our divisive community. They cannot be measured in monetary terms. They represent the cultural heart of our fractured society, in which our very precious spoken and written word has already been eroded in the history of our nation, together with the loss of our core values.
The other important consideration is for our ageing population, that already registers a quarter of our citizens, and will continue to rise during this century. With the onset of the later years, the frailty of the body can often mean limited mobility, so that to have easy access to a 'quiet zone ambience of learning' with skilled staff, is absolutely essential to the quality of the service that is provided.
Knowledge is irreplaceable. The power of the written and spoken word is forever. Do not deny us our rightful heritage in the field of learning during our later years. Respect our needs, and retain our joy in the cultural fulfillment that enriches life's ever challenging jouirney.