CUTS by Oxfordshire County Council, coupled with those imposed by Swindon Borough Council will hit some communities very hard. This “double whammy” effect will hit the communities on the borders of the County and Borough in a disproportionate way.
The villages of Shrivenham and Watchfield lie in the far western end of the County of Oxfordshire and have Swindon postcodes. In fact, the residents of Shrivenham and Watchfield have a considerable reliance on the services provided by Swindon as we are fairly far from the next sizeable town in Oxfordshire. Wantage and Didcot are inaccessible on the ever-diminishing public transport network in the County.
When Swindon proposes to reduce library provision to only its large central library, and Oxfordshire cuts the mobile library van service (including to the schools), we are left in our villages with a “double whammy” effect of local government cuts. Highworth Library (less than 5 miles away from Shrivenham but within Swindon Borough) is the village’s local library. The proposed closure of Highworth Library will have an immediate detrimental impact on the residents of all ages of Shrivenham and Watchfield.
Faringdon has a volunteer-run library offering limited part-time services at the same distance but cannot hope to cater for the increased demand in the area when Highworth closes.
The Watchfield community has a large mobile military population with a demographic of almost exclusively young families detached from their extended families. Almost all of these families rely on the services of Highworth Library. The impact on the Armed Forces Community Covenant of reducing library provision even further in this particular locality can be considered discriminatory.
The local school will also lose its mobile library service in July and as a school in receipt of significant Pupil and Service Premium, the loss of this service will only make the attainment gap greater for those pupils in receipt of the Premium. 
Local government cuts, imposed by central government, are threatening communities across the country.
Engagement from the Member of Parliament for Wantage (including Shrivenham), the Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP has been cursory, in spite of his position as the Minister for Culture directly responsible for library provision. The myth that the internet can make up for library cuts must be debunked at the highest levels.
It is time our MPs did more than just shrug their shoulders at the “tough decisions”, it’s time they started influencing the right decisions.