30 Jun 2011

Library campaign update

Reading the local papers I could get the impression that all is well with plans for community run libraries - GCC Leader Mark Hawthorne reports of the plans, that 'people are saying this is what they want'.

I have to say I have not come across a single person who agrees with him. Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries report that 'this was never an opportunity, but an ultimatum'. The opposition to the County plans for closures and cut backs was massive. Anyhow FOCL go onto quote Lechlade Library Working Group, who have submitted a business case to take on Lechlade Library. They have issued a formal statement to the local press and spoke on the local BBC radio in response to Cllr. Hawthorne’s recent claims:
“We are surprised to note Cllr Hawthorne’s comments in response to the court injunction stopping GCC from closing libraries across the county. Lechlade has consistently argued against the closure of our library by the County. Two public meetings and an 800 signature petition have endorsed the Town Council’s requests that the County continue their provision, but they have refused to do so. In order to secure a library service for our residents we have reluctantly submitted a bid to take over the library, but hope that this will not be necessary and that the County will be forced, either by the courts, or by the Secretary of State who is currently reviewing the County’s proposals, to maintain the existing service.” Sue Coakley, Chair Lechlade Library Working Group
The court date hearing is on 7th July - see here. It is the court who set the date despite Cllr Hawthorne claiming the date was 'obtained' by the Council. It seems strange to me that the County seem to be moving ahead with plans when the court action was meant to put a stop to plans?

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