Laura Swaffield, Chair of The Library Campaign, writes,
Nothing rational explains the decision by pig-headed Lincs County Council to destroy most of their library service – even though they don’t need to!
They insist on dumping 30 libraries on to ‘volunteers’, keeping just 15.
They have been shown that they can keep them all open, and avoid sacking 160-odd staff – and STILL make all the savings they want.
They know that opposition to the plan is total.
They know that NOBODY wants to take on the near-impossible task of running a ‘volunteer’ library.
They have been made fools of in the High Court last July – the judge said their so-called consultation was worthless, and they were at fault for not looking at a professional plan to – I repeat! – make all the savings they want, without this mad destruction.
Yet still they plough on.
What are they thinking???
The daftest explanation is Lincs CC’s own. They said in court that volunteer libraries was a ‘political’ decision. They’ve wanted to do it for ages. Nothing to do with making cuts at all, yer honour. A wrecked library service is what they really, really want.
[In fact they'd decided on it before last year's local elections. Strangely, they did not tell the electorate until they'd been voted back in. I wonder why...]
If I worked at Tory HQ I’d be worried. Here’s a last, moribund example of their Big Society – which has become a bitter national laughing-stock. Here’s a clear demonstration of the world their austerity policies will create… when they are trying so hard to bury the whole issue. (Not that the other political parties are doing much to counter this madness.)
Save Lincs Libraries has demonstrated again and again that the policy is stupid, universally hated – and totally unnecessary.
I call it scandalous.
Hear Laura speak on Lincolnshire on BBC Look North http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0511hf1/look-north-east-yorkshire-and-lincolnshire-03022015