Statement on the future of Lincolnshire’s Libraries

“I welcome the steps that Lincolnshire County Council have announced they will take in order to address the issues raised during the Judicial Review in respect of its proposed changes to local library services: firstly, the further period of consultation; secondly, the further discussions with Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) to understand the potential of their proposals; and, thirdly, the assurance that valid expressions of interest under section 81 of the Localism Act 2011 will be considered in accordance with Lincolnshire County Council’s formal Community Right to Challenge Scheme.

 

“It is ironic that the result of receiving a valid expression of interest under the Community Right to Challenge Scheme might be a requirement to put our County’s, and City’s, library service out to competition. I wonder if those in the Labour Party who in part inspired Save Lincs Libraries Group and who then campaigned against the County Council’s reforms to Lincolnshire’s libraries ever considered that this might be the result of their politically driven (and taxpayer funded) Judicial Review? Nevertheless, as this is now a real possibility, and although I note that the County Council’s initial proposal of a network of community hubs and mobile libraries is still their preferred option, the Council are quite right (if reluctant) to start to make preparations for any procurement process that may take place in the future that they are forced to conduct.

 

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cllr Nick Worth who has worked assiduously to make our local library services more efficient and, indeed, all the officers at Lincolnshire County Council and staff at our local libraries who have assisted this process. I know both Cllr Worth and his colleagues will continue to put our County’s best interests at heart in the additional work that will be needed over the coming months as a result of the Judicial Review.”

 

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For further information, please contact Karl McCartney MP at karl.mccartney.mp@parliament.uk / 020 7219 7221.