#Equality & cohesion
London Borough of Newham Council
United Kingdom

London Borough of Newham (LBN) has sought to justify its decision to remove community language papers from Newham's libraries in April 2011 by arguing that the provision of newspapers and journals in community-languages creates barriers to people learning English, taking pride in 'Britishness' and prevents them from entering jobs and education.

We are concerned about the way this decision has been made, the assumptions behind it and the impact on Newham’s communities.

We believe LBN’s argument is not supported by mainstream thought or research that recognises the beneficial and complex role mother-tongue/second-language skills play in learning English as a foreign language. Neither does it address the broader value of preserving and respecting other cultures within a diverse and evolving borough.

We the undersigned wish to voice our concern about and objection to the decision taken by the London Borough of Newham to remove community-language newspapers from the borough's libraries.

This new policy has been introduced under the guise of reducing barriers to learning English that mother-tongue newspapers and books are supposedly responsible for creating and maintaining.

We call upon Newham council to:

1. Reinstate community-language newspapers in Newham's libraries.
2. Prioritise funding and further resources to provision of English as a Second Language (ESOL).
3. To commit to the continued provision of community-language books and audio books in Newham's libraries.
4. To recognise and celebrate the unique diversity of the London Borough of Newham including recognition of the languages and cultures of its individual communities.

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The Save Our Language Papers petition to London Borough of Newham Council was written by SOLP and is in the category Miscellaneous at GoPetition.