The Save Lincolnshire Libraries campaign group wants to hear from people who have put forward an Expression of Interest (EOI) to run their local library.
We would very much like to know your motivation for doing this, and ask you to leave a comment on this blog post or email us to do so. This request is also running on our Facebook Group.
So… have you submitted and EOI because:
(a) you welcome the opportunity to run a library in your community
(b) you believe that if you do not put forward an EOI your community will no longer have a library
Or is there another reason for your EOI not covered by these two choices?
If you do not want to answer this with a public comment, please email the group on firstname.lastname@example.org. We will not use your comment publicly without your express permission.
We will update this blog post with details of responses we receive (with full permissions from the people who gave the answers, of course).
NINE COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO DATE (latest first)
Cllr Peter Dixon, Moor Ward, NHTC, via Facebook message
To whom it may concern. North Hykeham Town Council ( NHTC) and indeed North Kesteven District Council (NKDC), both submitted expressions of Interest in the hope of preserving a library service for library users in and around the Hykeham area. In the case of North Hykeham Town Council, this step was undertaken in response to views expressed at a public meeting arranged by NHTC at the town council’s offices. NHTC felt it was important that the community be given an opportunity to have its views heard in a public forum because arrangements made by Lincolnshire County Council ( LCC) made this almost impossible. I say this because the only local consultation event was held over 2 hrs at 7pm in the evening at Bishop Grossteste College, Newport, Lincoln. Anyone wishing to attend was also expected to apply for one of a limited number of tickets to attend what turned out to be a stage managed event.
As a result of local dismay and concern at LCC’s proposals, the North Hykeham Library Users Group was formed by local library users and NHTC formed a library working party to examine and, where appropriate, pursue the best of all options available.
It was agreed early on that the aim would be to preserve our library, with professional and volunteer staff if at all possible. Despite campaigning to have our library justifiably reclassified as a Tier 2 facility, LCC refused to concede arguing that local library users could travel to the Central library in Lincoln within 30 minutes. A claim that is clearly unachievable during daylight hours for those reliant on public transport!
Further research made it clear that LCC had already made plans to close our library before the consultation was even unveiled and that the survival of our library in its current location was not going to happen. We know that NKDC were approached as early as 2009 by LCC about accommodating a modified library service at the North Kesteven Sports Centre. It was also stated in the Consultation document that LCC had already decided that the North Hykeham library building and site would not be available for asset transfer. The evidence is such that it is logical to surmise that the fate of North Hykeham Library had already been determined and that LCC officers used the consultation process as a smokescreen for their plans. North Hykeham’s library users were conned into participating in a consultation in which their views were to be ignored from the outset.
I would like it to be clearly understood that all campaigning to save our library and all the effort put in by the local community, the NHLUG and members of the town council’s library working party has been motivated by the fear that our community would lose a much valued public service.
Cllr Peter Dixon, Moor Ward, NHTC
Ashley Baxter (Comment on this blog)
After six months of a phoney consultation we began looking seriously at the costs of running the existing Deepings library building. LCC is offering community groups £5,167 annually to run a library, regardless of size. After years of neglect and underuse of the upper floors, Deepings energy bills alone come to £3,800 leaving £100 a month to pay for everything else. Further enquiries uncovered that LCC had been secretly planning a feasibility study into selling the existing library and building a new-build extension to another community building that LCC don’t even own (yet). The Parish and Town Councils are now participating with the Expression of Interest process because it is the only way to keep the dialogue going and the library doors open.
Mike Bossingham (via Facebook)
Definitely b) everyone in Deeping (except the Market Deeping County Councillor) believes that a community of 18,000 people should have a fully funded County library and in withdrawing funding the County Council is no longer meeting its legal obligations.
Luke John Howard-Pask (via Facebook)
Mines certainly B. Although I now know Nettleham has another EOI besides my own. My kids use the library a lot on the way home from school it’s just too important a resource to be lost. On the flip side while I know nothing about running a library I look forward to running a community business for community interests if that makes sense.
Leah Warriner-Wood (via Facebook)
At the meeting I attended (way-back-when) in Hykeham, where an EOI was decided upon, (b) was definitely the driving motivation.
Commentator wishes to remain anon (via Facebook)
“definitely felt pushed into making EOI, now panicking because timescale far too short to do anything properly”
Stephen Palmer (via Facebook)
Hello all, as most of you know I am a County Councillor (Lincolnshire Independent) for Alford and Sutton on Sea. I have been active in opposing this whole process of volunteer run libraries and believe that the decision was a purely political decision and does not make sense on any level least of all the need to save money. This whole thing is costing tax payers as much as continuing to run the libraries as is until 2018. Anyway back to this thread. I have a duty to my communities and because of this I am putting efforts into setting up Sutton on Sea as a community run volunteer library. I am supporting the efforts of Alford to do the same. But and it is a big But we would not be doing this if we had not been forced to and I do believe if we had not we would not have a library.
AlfordLibrary (via Twitter)
@savelincslibs Like so many other libraries we have no choice
Andrew Bowell (comments on this blog)
Definitely b. In the Deepings we felt bullied into putting in an EoI. Nearly 9000 signed our petition to try and Save Deepings Library.