Not caring

SIR - I write concerning the ‘refurbishment’ of Sidmouth Library and the remarks by Devon County Council chiefs as reported in the Sidmouth Herald (January 27).

I am baffled as to how anything can be “easier” than handing your books to a friendly human being, but the quote which particularly galled me was that the new, and unnecessary, check in/out system will “free up staff to help customers”, as if this were the object of the new technology. It is not.

The object of the new technology is to save long-term costs by reducing staff - or staff hours, which amounts to much the same thing - and I resent being treated like a gullible child through ‘official platitudes’.

I would also like to tell these DCC chiefs that, since her local library in Ilfracombe was similarly ‘modernized’, my 87-year-old mother has stopped using it - and I doubt if she is alone. The same will, no doubt, happen in Sidmouth. (She was already finding the staff helpful!).

To spend �80,000 and discard jobs at a time of financial stringency and high unemployment might make some kind of long-term financial sense when viewed dispassionately from an office, it does not, however, show the kind of socially aware and caring local government I, for one, would like to see carried out in my name.


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(Rev) David J C Wheeler

Ascerton Close, Sidmouth

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