GCC library plans formally challenged by opposition councillors

We have heard today that the Liberal Democrat opposition group on the County Council have ‘called-in’ (formally challenged) the Administration’s decision-making on library cuts.

See press release from the Liberal Democrat group below:

LIBRARY CUTS CHALLENGED

The cabinet decision to close library services in Gloucestershire is subject to constitutional challenge.

Liberal Democrat county councillors have issued a constitutional challenge to the cabinet’s decision on Library Services.  The ‘call-in’ of the Conservative administration decision for library cuts requires answers about how and why the decisions have been made.  The new Library Service Policy is now delayed until the council has given public answers to justify their decision.

The council must explain that decisions were made taking into account the issues of the legal status of the new library policy.  The library policy must be fair to residents across the county and include properly considered plans for the future.

Statement by Cllr Jeremy Hilton, leader of the Liberal Democrat group:

“With reckless abandon the Tories at Shire Hall are destroying the county’s library service. That is why the Liberal Democrat group has called-in the library plans approved by the Tory cabinet on the 2nd of February.

The business planning behind the proposals is woeful, and many communities in Gloucestershire will suffer from the loss of their library because of political dogma and incompetence. Communities are being treated differently with some communities retaining their library for six days a week whilst others with an equal sized population are getting a just few hours, run by volunteers or closed.

Our call-in challenges the administration to prove their case and to answer fundamental questions about fairness and legality.”

The ‘call-in’ will be considered at an extraordinary meeting of the GCC Overview and Scrutiny Committee this Monday evening (February 14th). The meeting is open to the public and starts at 6:30pm at Shire Hall. 

We welcome this challenge. Supporters of our campaign have always had severe doubts about the fairness, workability and legality of the plans for our library service, and Councillors supporting these cuts have been unable or unwilling to answer our questions. We hope that the forthcoming scrutiny meeting resulting from this challenge finally compels them to do so.

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This entry was posted in Councillor Hawthorne, Councillor Noble, Gloucestershire Libraries News, Good News Stories, meeting, Service Cuts, Support for Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to GCC library plans formally challenged by opposition councillors

  1. Lisa Robinson says:

    I am pleased to read of this challenge at last. I have felt from the start (since eventually getting some sort of a ‘one size fits all’ reply to my urgent queries re Moreton Library “plans”….and about the idea of virtually closing that library when the surrounding population is set to increase dramatically – apart from anything else. I just felt then that this consultation business is actually a sham and that all is planned anyway, regardless of the views of the community. I very much hope that something may be done about this situation because people all over UK are mostly unaware of the drastic-ness of these Cuts and what they will mean to us all, young and old…So THANK YOU for your efforts and I hope all information will be well broadcast.

    • Hi Lisa, Thank you for your supportive comments. You sound as frustrated as me! I am glad that there are others in Moreton who are asking the important questions – even if the answers are not forthcoming! Were you at the “read-in” in Moreton Library on the 5th? I was there as it was the library I used as a child and my family still live there. My mum organised the read-in. She has found her queries about the Moreton library plans have all remain unanswered too. It is shocking the way this whole process has been handled. Are you on our email list? I can add you if you want to be kept up to date with any news.

      Johanna

  2. Lisa Robinson says:

    Thank you so much, yes please.

    Have just read in the Guardian today (Thurs 17th) that the Govt. has done a U-turn over selling off Forestry. How come? Is this because several of their own were not at all happy about it? If they can do a U-turn on that, they can do the same re the Libraries which are at least as vital as our wonderful forests and outdoor spaces. The people HAVE spoken (just like they have in Egypt)….Are you choosing to hear this, David Cameron? Or not?

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