Agenda item

Debate on the Library Proposals in the Light of Public Consultation


A debate took place in relation to the revised proposals for the Library Service which were outlined in the presentation received by the Council.


The Chairman stated that there would be just one debate, and Councillors were reminded that the Council could not make a decision on keeping or closing any or all of the libraries.  This meeting was about debating the issues raised and, where appropriate, either asking the Executive to take account of the debate or making recommendations to the Executive to be taken into account when it made the final decision on 3 December 2013.   As previously advised, any proposals put forward that went beyond what the Council could legally do, or were likely to fetter the Executive in its decision-making, would be ruled invalid.


Three motions without notice were proposed and seconded from the floor and submitted in writing to the Chairman prior to them being discussed.


Motion by Councillor J D Hough


It was moved and seconded that:


'This Council has received the findings of the consultation exercise on Lincolnshire Libraries conducted by Sheffield Hallam University and information about Expressions of Interest into the running of libraries in Lincolnshire by other organisations.


The Council notes that the outcome of the consultation showed that there was


·         Strong public feeling – many participants were angry and upset

·         Many participants found the survey and consultation events unsuitable or inadequate ways of communicating their feelings.  There was a fundamental disagreement with the proposed cuts to services

·         There were thousands of communications which highlighted the value and importance of the library, both to participants as individuals and also the perceived benefits to the wider community

·         There was widespread sentiment that the function of a library amounted to much more than the services referred to in the consultation (a 'community hub', social centre)


The council takes the view that the Expressions of Interest when taken together with the continuing libraries and their reduced opening hours will find it difficult, if not impossible to maintain a 'comprehensive and efficient' library service.


That the Council asks that the Executive takes account of these views and those of thousands of Lincolnshire people as captured in the consultation exercise when it meets on 3 December 2013 to decide on the future of Lincolnshire Libraries.'


A recorded vote was successfully requested and upon being put to the vote, the motion was lost.

Motion by Councillor S L W Palmer


It was moved and seconded that:


'The consultation responses clearly demonstrate that people want a professional staffed library at tier 1, 2 and 3 level.  The budget that was agreed in February to cut 1.9 million clearly drives the Councils need to alter the service.


This motion is to support a proposal prepared by Lincolnshire Independents that fulfils both.  We urge the Executive to consider this well thought out proposal at the Executive meeting on 3 December after scrutiny on the 2 December 2013 as it will achieve the goal that the Council has set which is to save 1.9 million pounds.  It will also keep all the current static libraries with a core of professional staff, and the option of enhancing the offer with volunteers.  It will keep 247 mobile stops.  Should more funding be available, the service could be further improved in keeping with public demand.'


An amendment was put to the mover of the motion, and was accepted, to substitute the word 'people' in the first line, with the word 'respondents' and also to delete the first sentence to the second paragraph.


The amended motion, upon being put to the vote, was carried.


Motion by Councillor Mrs A M Newton


It was moved and seconded that:


(1)  'The Council notes the report on the 'Library Needs Assessment'.


(2)  The Council welcomes the consultation feedback and the forty-two Expressions of Interest for community-led libraries.


(3)  The Council notes the requirement to find circa £150m of savings and potentially a further £80m, as well as our requirement to provide an efficient and comprehensive library service.


(4)  The Council notes that the Scrutiny Committee will be meeting next week and the final decision will rest with the Executive.


(5)  The Council requests that the Executive take careful consideration of all these factors before they come to their decision.'



Upon being put to the vote the motion was carried.




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