At the request of library users and community groups across the county we have organised an open public meeting to discuss ways forward for our libraries and the implications of the judicial review ruling. To encourage fair representation it will be held in a neutral environment with a neutral chair. We feel that bridges need to be built and an open dialogue facilitated. The meeting starts at 7pm (to be confirmed) and County Councillors will join the discussion at 8pm. ALL WELCOME.
We have sent the following invite to all County Councillors inviting them to attend:
In view of the recent High Court ruling on the County Council’s proposed changes to the library service, and the council’s stated commitment to approach the library strategy with an open mind, giving due regard to public sector equality duties, we are inviting you to a public meeting at a neutral venue and with a neutral Chair, to discuss the best way forward with the library users of Gloucestershire.
The meeting has been arranged for Wednesday 14 December 2011, and will take place at Gloucestershire Association for Voluntary and Community Action (GAVCA), 75-81 Eastgate Street, Gloucester with Sally Pickering (Chief Executive of GAVCA) in the chair. The discussion will start at 8.00pm.
We would appreciate it you could let us know if you will be able to attend by Friday 9 December.
As we have people attending from across the county we are compiling responses from their representatives in the County Council on this blog. If you are unable to attend but your Councillor is then please do contact them and ask them to raise concerns or points you wish to be made. We would like to hear as many views as possible. We will update the blog post as we receive RSVPs
Cllr David Thorpe (Con) Cabinet Champion for Change, Bourton Division
“I will not attend this meeting. You should allow the proper process to take its course. At some point you will have to come to terms with the implications of the action that was taken
I remain firmly committed to our strategy of modernising the service and to accelerating our plans but having full regard to the processes that need to be followed”
HWG Elwes Chairman, Colesbourne (Colesbourne is represented by the county councillor for Northleach division )
Thank you for your invitation to attend your FOGL meeting on 9th December.
I believe that the County Council are doing all they can to preserve an adequate Library Service in the County and have already recruited a large number of willing volunteers to assist them.
I see no need to attend your meeting.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne (Con) Leader of the Council, Moreland
Cllr Hawthorne told us that he thinks this meeting is “premature” and that there is “nothing to discuss” despite the fact new plans are being drawn up over the holiday period and announced on January 20th
Cllr Noble (Con) Lansdown, Park and Warden Hill, Cabinet Member for People with Long Term Support, and Libraries Portfolio Holder.
Cllr Noble failed to even acknowledge our invite and has been silent since the court ruling
Cllr Stephen McMillan (Con) Mid Dean
Cllr Brian Robinson (Con) Cabinet Project Champion, Brooksdean
Cllr Jackie Hall (Con) Cabinet Member for Education & Skills, Quedgeley
Cllr Barry Dare (Con) Moreton, Stow
Cllr John Cordwell (Lib Dem) Wotton-Under-Edge. (We have been informed by Cllr Cordwell that another representative from Wotton-Under-Edge will be attending)
Prestbury Parish Council – no one will attend
Winchombe Town Council have a meeting planned for this evening
Newent Town Council have another meeting planned for this evening
Cllr Mike Skinner (Lib Dem) St Pauls, St Marks and St Peters Cllr Charmian Sheppard (Lib Dem) St Pauls, St Marks and St Peters (NB. Both Mike and Charmian have supported the FoGL campaign, but are unable to attend the meeting due to other commitments. We have been informed that those Lib Dem councillors who are able to attend, will report back to their colleagues who cannot.)
Cllr Bill Crowther (Lib Dem) Hucclecote
Cllr Jeremy Hilton (Lib Dem) Westgate
Cllr Mary Smith (Labour) Gloucester City Council, Matson and Robinswood
Cllr Stephen McHale (Labour) Robinswood
Cllr Klara Sudbury (Lib Dem) All Saints
Cllr Phillip McLellan (Lib Dem) Barnwood
Lydney Town Council representative