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Threat to Belfast Libraries - "social vandalism"

8 December, 2004

Sinn Féin South Belfast MLA Cllr Alex Maskey has described the proposed closure of Six Libraries in Belfast as "social vandalism".

Cllr Maskey said:

"If we look at the proposed closures it is clear that they are distributed in poor communities that have a track record of low educational attainment. Here in South Belfast the proposed closure of the Sandy Row Library runs contrary to measures that are being put in train to address the needs of the protestant working class community in an area that suffers from disadvantage, poverty and particularly low educational attainment.

"This is nothing short of educational and social vandalism.

"I understand that the Boards are under huge financial pressures because British direct rule ministers are refusing to face up to the long term under funding of vital services. The reality is that there is not enough money being put in place to provide the services that are needed, particularly if we are to address long standing social, educational and economic problems in places like Sandy Row and other parts of Belfast such as the Old Park." ENDS

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