Posts Tagged ‘Mass closure of Lincolnshire libaries’

Mass closure of Lincolnshire libraries

February 3, 2015
Lincolnshire pop up library

Lincolnshire pop up library

Councillor Worth and his fellow undemocratic clods at Lincolnshire County Council have committed cultural vandalism. — William Hussey

We go round in circles.

Lincolnshire County Council decided upon mass closure of public libraries.

There was no public support, but hey, we are arrogant county councillors, our only interest is in getting our snouts in the trough. We don’ t give a toss what the public thinks or wants.

The Council were challenged in the High Court. Lawyer acting for the Council was forced to admit, not a single person in favour of library closures. The judge slammed the council for its arrogant high handed treatment of local people. A victory for the local people.

The Council could then have done the decent thing, heeded public opinion, listened to what the judge had to say. But oh no, mass closure of public libraries was back on the agenda.

At a scrutiny committee last week, its role as the name suggests, to scrutinise. The public were allowed to speak, but only for three minutes.

A councillor who tried to raise valid points, was cut off mid-stream, all discussion or debate terminated.

The committee rubber-stamped mass closure as they had been ordered to do.

This is what constitutes scrutiny in Lincolnshire.

Today the executive voted on the matter. The same executive who had decided on mass closure of public libraries.

It was a foregone conclusion, mass closure of public libraries.

County councillors who show arrogant contempt for the public.

County councillors who think they are above the law.

County councillors who are unfit to hold public office.

County councillors who should be surcharged for so far wasting nearly three-quarters of a million pounds of public money.

The decision to close libraries has no support, not from local people, not from writers, not from local councils, not from county MPs, not from government ministers. The Philistines that took the decision to close libraries are completely isolated. They represent no one other than themselves.

This is what constitutes democracy in Lincolnshire.

Out of 45 libraries, only 15 will remain, leaving 30 that will either close or be run by volunteers. Volunteers are making very clear, they are not prepared to be unpaid labour for a corrupt and rotten council. The 30 will suffer a slow death. Of the 15 on reduced hours, the Council is trying to privatise.

The public do not want to see their libraries closed.

Two fingers to the public.

And what do the library staff think?

The library staff are gagged.

Consultation is not going through the motions. Consultation is heeding what is said, then adapting policy accordingly.

The Council has a legal duty to carry out genuine consultation. In this the Council has failed.

A second Judicial Review?

As we have seen in Greece a Syriza grass roots revolution is required in Lincolnshire, not because local people want the trappings of power or wish to get their snouts stuck in the trough, but because much needed reform is required in the way the County Council functions, currently Lincolnshire County Council is not fit for purpose.