I THINK it’s great that Wendy Harvey, who loves “zipping into town” on her bike in her late 70s, gives her council service user experience of the St Owen Street cycle lane (Letters, February 8), even though I’m not and never will be ‘cycle ready’ on account of my life-long disability.

She concludes her letter with reference to “loss of the Broad Street Library and wondering when, and even if, it will be replaced with the state-of-the-art facility we were led to hope for.

"Hereford is a historic city and cultural hub, it is unthinkable that it shouldn’t have an excellent modern library.”

Sadly, we are living in an age of ‘neoliberalism’ or, as investigative journalist Naomi Klein put it in her 2007 publication The Shock Doctrine, the book’s subtitle: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.


Drawing on four decades of neoliberalism, she draws attention to how its adherents have reframed disasters such as Hurricane Katrina into opportunities for privatisation of public assets, and refers to a “holy trinity” of privatisation, deregulation and spending cuts that parallels what I have witnessed under post-2010 UK governments.

Even before the ratcheting up of military spending under US-led Nato, there was the slashing of local authority funding from central government in the name of ‘austerity’, leading to an insolvency precipice for local government under cuts in central government grants of up to 40 per cent since 2010.

So what does Levelling Up chief Michael Gove advise? He argues that councils should sell off public assets such as libraries and sports halls, and more.

What are your thoughts?

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Letters should not exceed 250 words and local issues take precedence.

Financial Times architecture and design critic has said “The UK is selling off its legacy of municipal splendour”. Councils have sold off or closed more than 1,000 swimming pools and 800 libraries. Half of magistrates’ courts, hundreds of playing fields and over 1,000 public toilets have gone too.”

How convenient, therefore, for parties dedicated to neoliberalism, and by that I include the ever U-turning Starmer and Reeves-directed Labour Party, to put everything in suspension until after the next general election?

And what would happen to council services when they’ve sold off everything?