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Round-Up: Library Lobbying And Petitions

March 26th 2014

Louth Livestock Market

Louth Livestock Market

Library lobby

On Friday 14th of March the High Court ruled that a full judicial review could be held about Lincolnshire County Council's plans to restrict the library service. Simon Draper of Lincoln is challenging the county council, on the basis of the following points:

  • that the consultation was unlawful as the decision had already been taken
  • that the Council failed to ensure that the harm that was going to be caused by their decision was prevented, as required by the Equality Act
  • that the Council failed to properly consider the proposal by Greenwich Leisure Limited ( a not for profit agency who had bid to run the library service). As a result the Council had failed in its duties under the Localism Act (1)
  • that if the cuts go ahead Lincolnshire’s Library Service will no longer be comprehensive and efficient and therefore will breach the national requirements.

The High Court judge granted Mr Draper permission to appeal on the basis of all four points, which is a first.

With this in mind, Save Lincolnshire Libraries will be organising a lobby of various MPs on April 8th in London. This coach trip is being hosted by Nic Dakin, the Labour MP for Scunthorpe. The purpose is to inform MPs about what is going on in Lincolnshire with regards to the library service, and to persuade them to consider stronger legislation to protect our libraries.

If you are interested in joining this trip, the details are here. The cuts that are affecting Lincolnshire are being echoed around the country, and it's high time those in power woke up to the cultural vandalism and systematic dumbing down that is becoming their legacy.

Petitions

Luke Goodwin has collected over 650 paper signatures for his petition in favour of getting a Sunday Bus service from Louth to Grimsby. There's also an online version.

Meanwhile, a petition against the sale of the cattle market has racked up over 3000 signatures.

There will be a public meeting about the sale of the Cattle Market will be held on the 1st of April at 7pm. This will take place at the Dance Garage, Unit 3 (behind Halfords) Tattershall Way, Fairfield Industrial Estate, and has been organised by some of the people in the Move Louth Forward Facebook group.

Unfortunately this meeting clashes with a town council meeting, so many councillors won't be in attendance.

March is the deadline for the submission of bids for the cattle market. ELDC are due to evaluate these in April, and make a final report to the overview committee some time in May. If the district council decides to sell the site, they are looking at doing doing this at some point around 2017, for possible redevelopment around 2018.

On 3rd, 10th and 17th April 2014 ELDC's Scrutiny Review group will be visiting the Cattle Market to listen to people's opinions about the future of the site. There is also an online form about it.

So, in sum, there are quite a few opportunities for people to offer their opinions about the future of this facility. That's all very nice and democratic. But in practice, money talks. In other words, I think the district council will be constrained by what they think they can afford, both financially and politically.

Singing

On a lighter note, Musical Time Machine will be showing at the Riverhead Theatre on April 12th at 7.30pm. It features the voices of North Somercotes Primary School, and is presented by You Can Sing Vocal Academy, including Yours Truly in the chorus.

Musical Time Machine


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