Posts Tagged ‘Lincolnshire Libraries’

Lincolnshire Library Cuts: Outrage from William Hussey, Lincolnshire based Author

February 4, 2015

Lincolnshire Libraries Decision – Reactions from Public & The Library Campaign #LibraryPlanNO

February 4, 2015

Lincolnshire Libraries High Court victory

July 23, 2014
Lincs High Court victory

Lincs High Court victory

I have decided that the means by which the county council decided and reached their decision was flawed, in two respects. In respect of the consultation, and of their failure to properly deal with an application by a charitable organisation [Greenwich Leisure Limited] which already ran library service for two London boroughs, Greenwich and Woolwich. I have decided that the decision made in December last year should be quashed. — Mr Justice Collins

Two weeks ago, saw campaigners in the High Court in London challenging the Philistines at Lincolnshire County Council, who wished to close two-thirds of libraries, fire 170 library staff, reduce hours in the remaining libraries.

On the second day in the High Court, the case for the council began to collapse when asked, how many people during the consultation were in favour of library closure. The answer was none. The judge responded he had never come across a consultation where not a single person was in favour of the proposed course of action.

Last week, the good news came through, the campaigners had won their case in the High Court on two counts, the failure of the council to consult, the failure to consider alternatives.

The Defendant is required by Section 7 of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 to provide “a comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons desiring to make use thereof”.

The Philistines who made the decision, who showed contempt for local people, who showed they are unfit to hold public office, are still in office.

The campaign to save the libraries was a model campaign, something other campaigners should take due note of and learn, and not just on libraries. They were on the street, they took direct action, they lobbied, the petitioned, they involved well-known authors, they made very effective use of social media and they were prepared to go to the High Court.

Most decisions taken by councils are flawed, they go through on the nod, without any proper consultation or scrutiny or representation. Arrogant councillors feel they can do as they please, there to ego trip and get their snouts stuck in the trough. As the High Court challenge has shown, when subject to proper scrutiny, most decisions are shown to be flawed, not in the public interest and for the library closures, unlawful.

Those councillors who took the decision to close libraries, who showed arrogant contempt for the local communities they were elected to serve, who have shown they are unfit to hold public office, must be kicked out of office, and they should also be surcharged to cover the costs, as those costs should not be borne by the local tax payer.

High Court challenge to mass closure of Lincolnshire Libraries – day 2

July 9, 2014
Save Lincolnshire Libraries

Save Lincolnshire Libraries

Save Lincolnshire Libraries leaving  High Court after day 2

Save Lincolnshire Libraries leaving High Court after day 2

A series of tweets to illustrate day 2 of Simon Draper v Lincolnshire County Council, a very important test case, the outcome of which could have major implications for the future of public libraries across the country.

Philistines at Lincolnshire County Council are attempting mass closure of libraries in the county, reduced service for those that remain. Local communities are challenging this through a Judicial Review in the High Court. It would not normally be possible to tweet from Court. The Judge granted permission.

What day 1 and day 2 in the High Court has shown, is that when decisions taken by arrogant councillors and their officials are subject to proper scrutiny, they are found wanting.

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486809633823420416

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486811770993278976

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486815932481024000

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486816442604847105

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486817069124820992

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486825105159622656

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486825948760010753

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486826569898672128

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486830241487548416

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486864218684391425

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486864688454852609

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486879442808360963

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486885632934170625

Reposted on Medium.

High Court action to stop mass closure of Lincolnshire Libraries – day 1

July 8, 2014
The Royal Courts of Justice

The Royal Courts of Justice

A series of tweets to illustrate day 1 of Simon Draper v Lincolnshire County Council, a very important test case, the outcome of which could have major implications for the future of public libraries across the country.

Philistines at Lincolnshire County Council are attempting mass closure of libraries in the county, reduced service for those that remain. Local communities are challenging this through a Judicial Review in the High Court. It would not normally be possible to tweet from Court. The Judge granted permission.

What day 1 and day 2 in the High Court has shown, is that when decisions taken by arrogant councillors and their officials are subject to proper scrutiny, they are found wanting.

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486468279746437121

https://twitter.com/simondraper/status/486515856785297409

Day 2, lawyers acting for Lincolnshire County Council will be attempting to defend the indefensible.

Save Lincolnshire Libraries will be using the hashtag #LibraryJudicialReview on twitter to post updates.

Reposted on Medium.

Campaigners in the High Court to quash mass closure of Lincolnshire Libraries

July 8, 2014
Lincs High Court activists at Lincoln Station

Lincs High Court activists at Lincoln Station

10-30 this morning in the High Court in London, Simon Draper v Lincolnshire County Council, a very important test case, the outcome of which could have major implications for the future of public libraries across the country.

Campaigners are challenging the crass stupidity and legality of a bunch of Philistines at Lincolnshire County Council of a policy of mass closure of public libraries, two-thirds of the public libraries to be closed and of the remaining third, opening hours to be drastically reduced. 30 out of 44 libraries libraries are to be closed.

Lincoln resident Simon Draper is challenging the council’s decision on four grounds as follows:

  • Lincolnshire County council will no longer be providing a comprehensive and efficient library service as required by section 7 of the Public Libraries and Museums Act
  • the consultation process was unlawful on the grounds that the outcome of consultation had been pre-determined and the basis of the information given for it was misleading
  • the Council failed to give proper consideration to the needs of vulnerable people including the elderly, children and disabled people as required under the Equalities Act
  • the Council did not give sufficient consideration to the bid from Greenwich Leisure to run the library service as required under the Localism Act

The 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act states:

It shall be the duty of every library authority to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons desiring to make use thereof.

Mass closure of libraries is not compliant with the legislation, as the county council is failing in its statutory obligations.

Lincolnshire is a rural county, the second largest county in England. Many rural populations will be without a library service, those that have, will find reduced hours.

The elderly will lose out, who rely on a library. It gets them out and about, keeps their mind active, keeps them physically fit, they socialise.

The poor will lose out, kids from deprived backgrounds, who lack books in the home, where the home is not conducive to study.

Central Library in Lincoln will see its hours reduced to 50 hours a week. It will be the only library left in Lincoln, the branch libraries will be closed.

Reduced mobile library service with over 100 stops disappearing and no service for small and isolated villages.

170 library staff will lose their jobs.

The council will save £2 million. It has a £42 million underspend.

The Philistines at the council are rapidly running out of friends, assuming they had any in the first place. They have been roundly condemned by library users in Lincolnshire, by a whole galaxy of writers, and even local members of parliament are distancing themselves from their crass decision.

To tally with the High Court Judicial reviews, please Thunderclap, set it reverberating around the net, let the whole world know.

Save Lincolnshire Libraries will be using the hashtag #LibraryJudicialReview on twitter to post updates.

Re-posted on Medium.

Philistine councillors support mass closure of Lincolnshire Libraries

June 9, 2014
Save Lincolnshire Libraries

Save Lincolnshire Libraries

When a society destroys its libraries, you know there is something very sick at he heart of that society.

Lincolnshire County Council is planning what amounts to little more than wanton vandalism of its libraries. The county has seen nothing like this, not since the Vikings and Henry VIII ransacked the monasteries and destroyed centres of learning.

Why, because a bunch of Philistine councillors having decided libraries are not needed. Austerity, an excuses for Shock Doctrine, slash and burn of public services.

Lincoln saw its biggest ever demonstration, but those who took to the streets, were treated with arrogant contempt by county councillors.

It is not only Lincolnshire, where corrupt councillors and officials, in the pocket of Big Business and greedy developers, are failing to act for local communities.

People have had enough.

If nothing else, this illustrates why we need the right of recall, not just for Members of Parliament, but also local and county councillors, who are failing to act in the best interest of their local communities.

Those who will suffer most, are kids from poor backgrounds, who have no books in the house, where they have no safe place to study at home.

This is the council that wastes money on shipping its staff around Lincoln in taxis because they are too bone idle to walk. Their excuse is it is not safe, they have a duty of care. Would a commercial organisation waste money on taxi fares for its staff to travel across the town centre? We know the answer would be no. Not safe? Not safe from what? Are they going to be mugged, run down? Maybe they will encounter angry local taxpayers. The council is responsible for both policing and road safety. A good turn off for tourists, do not come to Lincoln, its streets are not safe.

Cost cutting does not of course extend as far as councillors, who are only too happy to get their snouts in the trough.

Lincolnshire actually has a budget underspend of £40 million.

Lincoln Yellow bellies, are not taking this lying down. They are crowd funding to raise the necessary money to file a Judicial Review. Please support their fund raising.

Meanwhile tax dodgers Starbucks, Vodafone et al are laughing all the way to their offshore tax havens.

This coming Saturday, UK Uncut plan to occupy Vodafone in protest at their tax dodging. UK Uncut put the figure at £6 billion. A recent Private Eye report puts the figure much higher, ten times as much.

Tax dodging and austerity are two sides of the same coin.

Those fighting the Lincolnshire library closures, should ensure every single Vodafone shop in the county is occupied on Saturday. And spread the word.

Mass closure of Lincolnshire Libraries

September 23, 2013

Mass closure of libraries in Lincolnshire planned, slash £2 million from the libraries budget and close two thirds of Lincolnshire’s libraries.

Over 2000 sign a petition to say no, several hundred in one of the largest protests ever seen in Lincoln say no.

There has been no public consultation on this mass closure. Please complete the survey, which has no option for No Closures!

Like all councils, Lincolnshire has a statutory obligation to provide a “comprehensive and efficient” library service (Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964). These cuts would leave the county without a comprehensive service, and the most deprived rural and coastal areas of Lincolnshire would be hardest hit.

County Councillor Nick Worth has shown nothing but arrogant conempt for the local communities who will be devasted by library closures.

On the other hand, money can be found for County Councillors to get their snouts stuck firmly in the trough.