Library campaigners are concerned that Lincolnshire county council’s library cuts “consultation” is being seriously mismanaged.
As a result, people in Lincolnshire are being railroaded into accepting cuts to their library service, without a reasonable chance to have their say.
The council are running only 8 consultation meetings for the whole county. Members of the public must email the council to book a place at one of the meetings.
At the very least there should be one meeting for every library that’s under threat. The consultations should take place in the towns and villages that actually stand to lose funding for their local library, so that local people can attend.
We’re surprised that people have to send an email via the council’s website to get permission to attend one of these events. Meetings should be public and open.
Save Lincolnshire Libraries believe that the consultation questionnaire is flawed; deliberately designed so that people are unable to express any objection to the proposed cuts.
The council’s own consultation document says that the proposed cuts “cannot be influenced” by the public and that consultation feedback will influence only “some elements” of the proposal detail.
Councillor Nick Worth (Conservative, executive councillor for libraries) has publicly admitted that there is not really any room for people to disagree with the proposal, but that he hopes people will use the consultation to come forward and volunteer to run libraries for free!
This shows breathtaking contempt for local democracy – the council is admitting that it will push these cuts through, whatever local people say.
The council’s head of libraries, Jonathan Platt, has banned any member of the public from placing petitions in libraries.
Save Lincolnshire Libraries are taking paper petitions around the county, so that people can register their objection to these damaging proposals. Alternatively, they can sign the online petition at: www.savelincslibraries.org.uk
Save Lincolnshire Libraries will continue to make the case that Lincolnshire needs better libraries than the council seems to think it deserves.