What’s going on at Clifton Library? It appears to have been taken over by a group of local worthies, the Friends of Clifton Library (FoCL), an “unincorporated association”, who have installed a bar and started charging the public for free events. Listed among their committee members is Tory masquerading as Green councillor, Paula “Taking the Mickey” O’Rourke who is currently fancy dress mayor for the city.
Bristol Radical History Group were approached by FoCL to do some talks at what they thought was a public library where they’ve done free talks for no charge on many occasions. They agreed and arranged five dates for five talks. Then they discovered, via the internet, that FoCL are charging the public £10 a ticket to hear their free talks! To add insult to injury, when the history group approached FoCL to ask what was going on, they discovered that FoCL usually pays speakers a £150 fee, which was never mentioned when the history group were booked.
The Radical History Group have now cancelled their talks at this dodgy library for the wealthy. Not because they aren’t being paid, which they never are, but because people are excluded by being charged for a free event in a space that should be inclusive and free at the point of use. Having tried to rip off the poor and a local group of volunteers to fund their exclusive library with a bar operation, FoCL told the history group when they cancelled that they were “grossly unprofessional”.
Bit rich coming from a bunch of wealthy conmen openly destroying our public services.