Friday, 16 August 2013

Southport Library update

What Haydn had to say to the Council


From the initial proposals put out to consultation the Cabinet have never considered any other proposal than Option B.

We view the cabinets decision to turn down proposals from local campaigners to run Southports libraries with a mixture of Sefton Libraries and volunteers as unsound.

Cllr Dowd said he was open minded and would consider feasible and sustainable proposals. The local campaigners met very right deadlines set by the officers after a great deal of work.and quality input. During this period I called a meeting with Council Officers April 22nd at the Atkinson so we could explain in outline the philosophy of our proposals. This was so council officers at the start of their drafting could be minded by our professional librarian/ volunteer model regarding job descriptions. This was totally ignored.
Likewise at the meeting I asked the officers to keep us informed as we did not want any shocks or changes to procedure or approach as we met our tight May deadline. An excellent example of local democracy in pro active action. I was aghast when at the next cabinet meeting that officers stated that our proposals had not yet been fully considered. This was after us meeting a deadline which officers had set. The cabinet meeting lasted nineteen minutes. We had been told that our proposals would run parallel with the Cabinet proposal on a Main Line it was very obvious the local campaigners very feasible, sustainable proposals were being Branch Lined and in truth  being treated as both an imposition and unwelcome.

Low and behold we of course did get a shock when it transpires the basis on which the officers judged the bids were not decided upon until two months later 2nd July. This was never communicated. It is a case of moving the goalposts, playing Monopoly with Cluedo rules and it is simply unfair. Especially as of a meeting held April 22nd this possibility was clearly raised by us and we were assured we would be updated. We weren't and it is a disgrace.

In Ainsdales case the statutory criteria which in the past has existed has been totally ignored eg mileage, entitlement, community useage.

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