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Saturday 7th
posted by Luke James in Britain

Bradfield warns Cardiff could be ‘cultural wasteland’

MANIC Street Preachers frontman James Dean Bradfield warned yesterday that Cardiff could become a “cultural wasteland” as a result of the city council’s library cuts plan. 

The lead singer of the legendary Welsh band gave a scathing verdict of the Labour council’s cost-saving closures ahead of a rally outside Cardiff Central Library today.

More than 900 people are expected to descend on the library — one of seven set to be downgraded or closed completely.

And they received a huge boost from Mr Bradfield, who became involved in the campaign after opening the library with band mates Nicky Wire and Sean Moore in 2009. 

In a statement condemning the cuts, the Blackwood born singer said: “When Nick, Sean and I opened the Cardiff Central Library in 2009, it was an immensely proud moment for us. 

“It felt like a seamless journey from Blackwood Central to Cardiff Central. 

“As Blackwood had been a place to meet, discover and read, so became Cardiff Central library and I continue to use the service with my family.

“But now it seems that the dream is dead or under threat. Odds on that Cardiff Council will eventually cut a deal to transfer the library into the hands of a luxury retail opportunity. The rumble of an oncoming cultural wasteland as sponsored by Cardiff City Council.”

Unison organiser Michael Sweetman told the Star his support raised the spirits of some 85 library workers whose jobs are threatened. 

“The level of support for this event from authors and the public has been incredible,” he said. 

“We just hope that the Labour group on the council will listen before it’s too late.”

As well as services being reduced at Cardiff Central Library, six more will close across Cardiff unless residents are willing to run them on a voluntary basis. 

Defending the council’s cuts plan last week, Labour councillor Richard Cook said libraries are a “middle class issue.”

But Cardiff People’s Assembly spokesman Adam Johannes pointed out public libraries were established by Labour’s socialist 1945 government, under the slogan “The Best for the Most.”

He said: “When a society says,‘there’s no money for libraries’, they are really saying, ‘there is no money to be human’.”