Results: Conservatives (6) for. LABOUR, UKIP and Lincolnshire Independents (4) against. Steve Palmer, Phil Dilks, Anne Reynolds, Jane Smith voted against. Nigel Pepper, Ron Oxby, Ray Wootten, Linda Wootten, voted yes. Ray Phillips was subbed by Martin Trollope-Bellew and he voted yes. Chris Brewis also voted yes, he is part of the coalition and chair of the committee. He is also chair of the Sutton Bridge volunteers who have a bid in to run as a Tier 3 library. This vested interest was discussed at the meeting but Brewis did not stand down as chair.
COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AND COUNCILLORS WHO WERE THERE
Bob Harrison: “A very disappointing council meeting this morning but only as I have come to expect. At least the strength of feeling against the council’s proposals was aired but it was fairly obvious that the vote was a forgone conclusion. The most annoying parts for me were that the Chair of the scrutiny committee had refused to broadcast the meeting online. It was established he had an interest in a community run library bid but refused to give up his position as chair. The chair refused to allow a break in the meeting and consequently it continued for 3hrs 35mins. At least two committee members still had a number of questions they wished to ask. A Cllr Pepper (Conservative) after speaking, suddenly proposed a motion that the council’s preferred option be accepted, the members found they were required to vote and the motion was passed. So the meeting suddenly ended. Little respect for the many members of the public who felt it important enough to attend and were willing to continue. Little respect for the councillors who still had questions. Scrutiny? In short, once again democracy at its worst.”
Pauline Palmer (who has submitted an alternative plan to the council that keeps libraries open and staff employed): “The Conservatives hardly said a thing and what they did say was nothing to do with scrutiny! Stephen Palmer and Phil Dilks still had plenty of questions to ask but because Nigel Pepper (Con) got the nod to make a proposal to accept it was forced through regardless. Every single person that spoke for three minutes at beginning did not want this to go ahead. Everyone who actually bothered to ask ‘scrutinising’ questions was clearly against but the Cons clearly wanted it and knew what they were expected to vote as can be seen from the result. Scrutiny- it was an absolute farce!”
Cllr Sarah Dodds: “So disappointed with how it went today. Well done to Cllr Palmer and Cllr Dilks for giving it a good go. What I hate is that even those who voted for could not think of valid reasons to do so, so just stayed silent. I was sat close enough to Cllr Trollope-Bellow to hear him chuntering and muttering loudly in compliant against Phil Dilks and Stephen Palmer every time they asked a question.”
Adam Brookes: “Absolutely appalled by chair’s decision not to allow meeting to be broadcast online. Justification was no precedent and that next meeting will be. Given the huge public interest that was absolutely bizarre decision.”