Big Issue Vendor

Library crusader Bobby Seagull deliver funding demands to Downing Street

Bobby Seagull led the way to 10 Downing Street with the library-saving petition signed by more than 7,000 people – and it's still open

Today literacy champion and Big Issue Changemaker Bobby Seagull marched a petition demanding secure investment in public libraries straight to the door of No.10 Downing Street.

The 7,113-signature-strong document called on the government to commit to ending library austerity in the upcoming Budget.

It was backed by The Big Issue and library association CILIP after the joint report Public Libraries: The Case for Support showed that library funding had suffered a £234m real-terms cut in the past decade.

Seagull said: “Libraries are such a vital part of local communities, I’m shocked by the funding cuts they’ve seen in the last 10 years. It really is a testament to the amazing work of professional librarians that they have continued to be the lynchpin of our local communities in such trying circumstances. It’s time for the government to step-up and guarantee them secure funding, so they can continue their amazing work.”

Libraries are hugely important community spaces with the power to change lives by providing unparalleled access to literacy and skills, especially for homeless and underprivileged people.

CILIP chief executive Nick Poole said; “I’m absolutely delighted by the outpouring of support the British public has shown for this petition. It really proves what we at CILIP have been saying all along, that great libraries and professional librarians build stronger communities. They are the heart of any high street.”

The petition will stay open until March 11 when the Chancellor delivers the Budget.

Images: CILIP/Wilde Fry