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Update from Simon Draper 28 July 2015

We’ve had the judgement, unfortunately we lost on all 3 points.

We are expecting the reasons next week and will consider all our options.

I’m sorry that it didn’t go as well as last year. But the fight continues.

-Simon-

Open letter from council leader attacking this campaign Martin Hill attacks Save Lincs Libraries campaigners

BACKSTORY:

LATEST 1) On 21st July 2015 Lincolnshire County Council and its plans for libraries will be back in the High Court, following a request for a second Judicial Review by Simon Draper. Read all three grounds here: Lincolnshire County Council library plans to be challenged again in the High Court

LATEST 2) 14 page response sent to the Secretary of State by campaigner Maurice Nauta April 2015, regarding the minister’s  ‘provisional’ decision not to intervene in the Lincolnshire cuts. NO REPLY YET. Read it here All the reasons you should intervene, Dear Secretary of State

TWO YEARS CAMPAIGNING IN SUMMARY:

THE COUNCIL PLAN

Under the council’s plan (approved by nine members of the council executive 3/3/2015, one member was absent) the number of council-run libraries in Lincolnshire will now drop from 47 to 15, and around 160 library workers will be made redundant. The council is likely to put these libraries out to tender unless they are already in a partnership scheme. All remaining libraries will either be taken over by voluntary groups and turned into “community hubs” or will be replaced by “super-mobile” library, which will visit for a minimum of four hours on a weekday evening or three hours on a Saturday every fortnight. These remaining libraries would not be included in the tender process. Volunteer groups that are chosen to run their library will be given a one-off sum of up to £15,000 for building work or equipment, £5,167 per year for operational costs, and up to 4,000 books. This will only last for four years, after which volunteers will need to raise money themselves. The plan voted through in February 2015 is fundamentally no different to the plan decided upon in December 2013. The original decision was quashed in the high court in July 2014 because of not taking into account the Localism Act (and campaigners feel maybe they still haven’t) and also because of the process of decision making and the flawed consultation.

At no point has the council asked for public consent to the plan which massively reduces this statutory, vital and cherished public service, and takes the high risk route of volunteer libraries to allow around 160 people to be sacked.

“It shall be the duty of every library authority to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons desiring to make use thereo.” Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964

As these cuts are being planned and executed, Lincolnshire County Council have a £41 million underspend in the bank. The cuts will save them under £2 million. Read more on this here in the Lincolnshire Echo.

The council have also been given two alternative plans that save the required money and keep ALL the libraries open with paid staff. Read about these alternatives here: http://savelincslibraries.org.uk/alternative-plans/

The council exec in Lincolnshire are Conservative / Lib Dem. The Lincolnshire Conservative party manifesto published before the cuts were announced promised that the party will “continue a countywide library network with better access and opening hours.” A press release from Labour in Lincolnshire reveals Lincolnshire Conservatives put off public consultation on their library plan until after the County Council elections in May 2013. Read more on this council’s appalling actions over the last two years on our page: Villains.

MASSIVE OPPOSITION:

The 2014 and 2015 decisions by the nine members of the council executive have been strongly opposed and undermined in a multitude of ways:

On Wednesday, 26th June 2013, the Community and Public Safety Scrutiny Committee, made up of 11 Lincolnshire county councillors, rejected the council’s proposal for changes to library provision in Lincolnshire. Read more here: Scrutiny committee reject Lincolnshire County Council proposal.

With minimal funding this campaign has generated petitions with over 23,000 names, a protest march 400 strong and a heart-breaking catalogue of 900 comments, handed to David Cameron in book form in April 2014 when we took a coach and Lobbied for Libraries.

There has been opposition from MPs of all parties, internationally acclaimed authors, celebrities and The Library Campaign. These are catalogued in this Facebook album: The Great and the Good. Tory support in particular has its own page on our blog: http://savelincslibraries.org.uk/tory-support/

From the council’s own consultation report: “In terms of the survey response rates, the quantity of completed surveys was high and the volume of qualitative data generated within these was exceptional. In over a decade of research work the analysis team at SHU had not experienced any survey (on any topic) generating such a high volume of qualitative data / written comments. In excess of 21,300 comments (779 A4 pages) were read, coded and analysed.” Source Consultation Final Report

From The Library Campaign’s first-hand account of the high court hearing: “At one point the urbane judge murmured: ‘I’ve never before come across a consultation exercise where everyone who responded said – “Don’t do it!” That was after he had gently enquired whether anyone at all had approved of the plans. ‘No, my lord,’ admitted the county’s hapless barrister. That, it seems, was not considered relevant by Lincs CC.” Source Library Campaign Report from Lincolnshire Judicial Review, and more recently, outraged at the 2015 decision from chair of The Library Campaign: Lincolnshire Library Madness.

The volunteers the council is replying on for this plan are already in crisis. No group we have spoken with is taking on their library willingly and several have already withdraw plans, we’ve collated many community group comments and are seeking more, read here: http://savelincslibraries.org.uk/volunteer-crisis/

From the mouth of David Cameron’s (after the ruling from the high court): “One of the great things in our democracy is that governments have to act under the law and respond to public opinion and pressure – and that’s what is happening in Lincolnshire.” Source Cameron Quotation Lincolnshire Libraries

Elsewhere, other council’s listen. We’ve collated recent cases of council’s in the UK who have responded to public outcry and withdrawn their current library plans here: http://savelincslibraries.org.uk/councils-that-listened/

WHAT DO WE BELIEVE?

Read what we think about the council’s plan here: We Believe

JANUARY 2015 NINE PEOPLE IGNORE 23,000… AGAIN

Read our latest response here:

Lincolnshire Libraries Decision – Reactions from Public & The National Library Campaign

WHO MADE THIS DECISION? http://savelincslibraries.org.uk/lincolnshire-county-council-executive/

CAMPAIGN TIMELINE: from Summer 2013 onwards: http://savelincslibraries.org.uk/lobby4libraries/

The latest council proposal can be viewed here.

JULY 2014 WIN ON TWO COUNTS IN THE HIGH COURT!

“When this legal challenge was launched we called on Lincolnshire County Council to think again, and seriously re-consider the cuts they had proposed. They ignored my client, dismissed his claims that the consultation was flawed, and ignored the fact that the cuts could be avoided. The Court has listened and ruled that Lincolnshire County Council’s proposals, which would have decimated the library service and cost hundreds of jobs, were wrong as a matter of law.” Paul Heron, Solicitor, Public Interest Lawyers. 

Our blog post on the outcome Win on Two Counts! 

Blog post from Public Interest Lawyers High Court Quashes Decision

Report from The Library Campaign on the outcome LINCS LIBRARY RESCUE COULD SAVE LIBRARIES NATIONWIDE

Report in Public Libraries News (including links to media coverage): Lincolnshire Council Loses Judicial Review

Download the full judgement here: http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk//Download/71574

More on our campaign:

Inside the Judicial Review, July 2014. We have two reports from people who were in the high court during the review. Click here our campaigner’s report, and click here for the report of the chair of The Library Campaign.

#Lobby4Libraries – read about our day in Westminster and visit to No 10 Downing Street.

FULL JUDICIAL REVIEW TO GO AHEAD Lincolnshire: Full Judicial Review of Library Service to go ahead The judge did not restrict the grounds of challenge, and therefore the 4 grounds will be considered by the High Court when the case is heard.

LETTER TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE A former Assistant Director at Lincolnshire County Council has written to The Rt. Hon Maria Miller MP, former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to formally request that she intervene and order an urgent inquiry into the changes being made by the County Council to the Lincolnshire library service. Update, letter now sent to Sajid Javid, Maria Miller’s replacement.

Click here to read about the day when Helen Goodman MP (Shadow Minister for Libraries) visited campaigners at Ermine Library, 15 April.

Click here to read extensive press coverage of our #BigLibraryMarch in September 2013 

The Consultation – Click here to open the full PDF of the consultation report where people completely condemn the council’s plans and their consultation: SHU-Libraries-Consultation-Final-Report-31-October-2013 (2).  Click here to read: Our response to the consultation findings

How you can help

The library cuts in Lincolnshire have national implications (read this independent summary here: Lincolnshire Council’s consultation gets into further hot water … and has national implications), so we invite anyone who cares about public libraries in the UK to support us.

Follow us on Twitter @savelincslibs, Tweet your support and we will RT!

If you have more time and a blog, please write a blog post on your support of our campaign and Tweet us the link, again we will share this widely.

You can join our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Lincolnshire-Libraries/459730957507765

22 thoughts on “Home

  1. An essential service for the education & well-being of the elderly & disabled who need help with the internet in an increasingly technical world

  2. I would like to see the group take on the County Council by setting up a proper consultation, county wide, on how library provision can keep pace with chnaging times. I have suggested this already to leading councillors, with no reply. The consultation would look at libraries’ roles in Education, Lifelong learning, the Economy, Community welfare, and othe r underpinning requirements for civilisation.
    Maurice Nauta

  3. The “Consultation” document makes it fairly clear that LCC intend to press forward with their changes regardless of public opinion. There is no option for “Leave as is”. They are merely asking the turkeys to vote for a roasting on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Democracy in action ? Hardly.

  4. My children use the local library regularly & love going in weekly to change their books. It isn’t just about books. They offer internet facilities, photocopying & printing and have story days for the young ones. Villages need a library!

  5. The library is an essential part of a community. It is a meeting place for local groups, an information centre, where you can find what you need and order very old books and papers, a place for quiet recreation browsing books and magazines, and getting the latest books to read, a place for education for all ages, from babies to OAPs and so on, it is a centre point for the community. The central library takes about an hour to get there by bus from Birchwood and is a good walk from the bus station. In the evening there is little public transport. There is no car parking by the library and the nearest car park is nearly always very full and difficult to park in – and expensive. Birchwood library serves a community of at least 80,000 homes, a number of special homes for the elderly and disabled, several schools and two council housing estates. Go into into the library at any time and there are always people there, groups meeting, people using the wifi, children on the computers doing their homework, etc.

  6. To my son, the library is how he sees the world from different views. Please keep the library alive in our community!

  7. The library for me is a life line it is my only contact with the outside world illness makes it impossible for me to go anywhere much or do anything the library is all I have .

  8. I’m pretty pleased. The libraries don’t do anyhting well, at great expense in buildings maintenance, wages, cleaning etc.. Carefully chosen censored books, dvd’s; shite computers full of malware and security flaws so the local village idjits can rock back and forth to pretty colors…staffed by uber nazis that need to stop reading black lace and eating chocolate, and get back behind an ironing board.
    Bah, lets have bookshops, hmv’s, bloxkbusters, internet cafe’s, creches, tourist shops….You’ll be glad they’re gone.

  9. In 2009 after visiting your library you put me on a track fo searching via the military for Harry Brown your WW1 hero that died 2 Jul 1917. My grand aunt was his wife Margaret Hindson Brown nee Evans. Without your local history and your library staff, people from overseas would not get the information that they may seek. I have a tie to Alford with my relatives having lived there. A lovey market town. All the best we do need libraries around the world. Regards Judi

  10. What you forget is that the cuts HAVE been made, the jobs HAVE been lost and the staff HAVE moved on to other jobs. You cannot turn back the clock. I like the new library service. Congratulations on creating another two years of uncertainty and job insecurity for the 180 staff in Lincolnshire libraries. That is after the first two years of job insecurity.

  11. If you want to know what your library service will be like under GLL look no further than Greenwich Libraries. On strike currently , fighting for more staffing. GLL favour zero hour contracts and as people leave they will not be replaced. The analogy fur coat no knickers comes to mind!!! Very shiny on the outside , very corporate! Lots of new events etc but not enough staff. Staff coming in on their days off to cover. Zero hour contract staff relied upon to keep the service running. GLL may take over your service but beware after a couple of years the strain will show. If you want to know more contact Onay Kasab at UNITE. onay.kasab@unitetheunion.org

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