Libraries campaigners set up petition calling for County Council Executive resignation

Lincolnshire County Council Executive Committee has been asked “to do the right thing by the residents of Lincolnshire and resign,” in a petition launched by the Save Lincolnshire Libraries campaign group.

The council, whose proposed changes to Lincolnshire Libraries would have seen 30 facilities closes and 170 jobs lost to save £1.7 million, is undertaking another consultation after the decision was quashed by the High Court.

This week, UKIP county councillors also put forward a motion for the resignation of Lincolnshire County Council Leader Martin Hill and public apology for the way the decision-making process was handled.

The motion will go before the council on Friday, September 26.

Save Lincolnshire Libraries have fought the proposals since they emerged, and in the wake of the two-day judicial review the group are calling for a full Executive Committee resignation.

At the time of writing, the petition has gained 70 signatures.

The campaigners’ reason for the petition are directed at the Executive: “You mislead us, your electorate, regarding the timing of the decision-making process.

“You then mishandled the consultation regarding the library service and due to the amount of electorate’s money you wasted on a consultation where the decision had already been made by the Executive Committee.”

The group adds: “Campaigners wrote time after time to the Council Leader and Executive informing them that the consultation was not being handled correctly.

“This information was also pointed out to them via the consultation documents themselves, online and via the media.

“Not only have the Executive Committee of the Lincolnshire County Council, misled the public but they have also cost them a great deal of public monies, with both a fatally flawed consultation process and the failed defence of their position.

“For this reason they should hold themselves responsible and do the right thing, resign.”

Councillor Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The campaigners would like people to believe that the court decided we’d got this all wrong.

“However, the judge, in fact, agreed that the council was entitled to make savings within the library service, that its proposals would meet its legal duties, and it had carefully considered the impact on all residents.

“He did highlight some shortcomings in the consultation, but we’re confident we can remedy these quickly and efficiently.

“There will be a one-off cost, but the result will be future multi-million pound savings, however they are eventually delivered.

“I am sorry we didn’t get this 100 percent right, but I think the best way to make amends is to see this through and put in place an efficient, comprehensive and affordable library service that’s fit for the 21st century.

“We understand that some people would like things to stay as they are, but the executive has to do what’s in the best interest of all residents.

“By the end of this decade the council’s overall budget will have been halved. Vital front line services are being protected, but that has meant taking tough decisions.

“And if we don’t find these savings within the library service, they will have to be found elsewhere.

“As ever, we will move forward with an open mind,” Martin Hill added.