Oxfordshire is a county of two different political outlooks. The rural areas are undoubtably Conservative, the City a mix of Liberals, Labour and Greens. This is why I found the proposals for the library cuts very courageous from a political point of view.
We already know the premise is flawed, the volunteer model won't save money and now we know it is also political suicide for the Tories in their rural Oxfordshire divisions.
Here is the cut libraries that have Tory councillors, and calculations based on their majority , the active users and the registered users.
When the councillors are on the doorstep in 2013 and the library users are volunteering and are to busy to vote or more likely having to travel great distances because some of the libraries will have closed by then, it is unlikely they are going to want to pop to the polling both and support the party who took their library away.
The other factors are the other cuts in Oxfordshire, Keith Mitchell's charming weekly letters in the Oxford mail and the fact that the party in power always get a kicking come the local elections.
If the Tory councillors who have a greater number of registered library users than their majority were to lose their seats here is how the political landscape could change:
Clearly the Tories would hold the council, just. But is this risk worth the supposed 370k savings they think they are going to make? All the other factors locally will come into play, not a day goes by without a negative OCC story in the paper. I think any councillor who ignores the wishes of the people they represent will be "very courageous".
Its worth reiterating again where the cuts are falling too:
The cut proposed cuts and the percentage of cuts that area is getting.
The cuts purely on percentages, the complete opposite of Tory policy and ideology.
If anyone can point to why the Tories in Oxfordshire don't want power anymore can they please let me know? I think the Lib Dems and Labour know which seats to target in 2013.
They can save 370k easily from a one billion pound budget, it doesn't have to come out of social services as they keep claiming. Their new website went live last night, at great expense no doubt. Clearly they still have spare cash that isn't going to social care.
Here is a couple of quotes from Cameron on cuts and the big society:
"Any cabinet minister, if we win the election, who comes to me and says 'here are my plans' and they involve front-line reductions, they'll be sent straight back to their department to go away and think again."
"This is not about trying to save money, it is about trying to have a bigger, better society."
Here is a link to the data: