SURREY County Council’s plan to run its community libraries by the sole use of volunteers has been ruled unlawful.
Its subsequent plan to keep some paid staff and supplement them with volunteers has also been thrown into doubt.
Surrey County Council has wasted tens of thousands of pounds of ratepayers money in its attempt to cut its library service.
A High Court ruling has said that the council is in full breach of its Public Sector Equalities Duty. The council has been forced back to the drawing board to analyse the benefits of paid staff and to weigh up if volunteers (should they come forward and be trained) can meet the impact to the service of the loss of the paid staff.
The lawyers representing the Surrey Library Action Movement suggest that only the widest consultation of all library users in the county can determine the kind of library service that is needed. Anything less discriminates against the most vulnerable users.
Surrey County Council must now revert the libraries to the way they were prior to September 2011, including a return of all paid staff, a return of the library management system and the return of all staff counters.
All 10 libraries are once again part of the Core Managed Library Network
We consider that Kirklees Council’s proposed model of replacing paid staff with volunteers is also discriminatory and unsustainable.
Furthermore, it is likely to lead to library closures and should be thrown out.
If the council takes note of the Surrey County Council ruling it will stop now before it throws good money after bad and risks ruining a library system that works well and could work even better with a forward looking strategy.
Save Slaithwaite Library Campaign
Bigger car picture
RICHARD Huddleston’s letter to the Examiner ‘Don’t let them force you out of your car’, April 30, fails to look at the whole picture.
It’s true that the British pay motor-related taxes but, on the other hand, road crashes cost the taxpayer of this country £18b a year in hospital, emergency and rehabilitation fees.
Roads are dangerous places. Every day five people die on them, yet the deaths are treated as unremarkable.
Roads are choked with drivers who speed, take risks and menace those who want to drive safely.
Mr Huddleston complains about potholes and congestion on our roads, but this is not the fault of public transport, it is a result of too much traffic and heavy vehicles.
Everyone needs to move from A to B which means catering for car users, public transport users, walkers and cyclists and we should respect that fact.
A RECENT Green Party election leaflet mentions Colne Valley Museum and although the comment appears to be complimentary we would like to make it clear that the museum has NO political affiliation.
The article says the museum ‘attracts national funding so entrance is free for now.’
This comment is totally incorrect. It is true that thanks to a great deal of work from dedicated museum volunteers, who do indeed run the museum, we have received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
However, this was given so that we could restore and refurbish the recently acquired top cottage and this is what it was used for.
The decision not to charge an entrance fee has no bearing on the receipt of this grant.
The money received could not be used to run the museum as this would have been in complete contravention of the conditions of the grant.
We are disappointed that the Green Party have used us an example without checking their facts. Perhaps an apology would be in order.
We could do better
AT 265th best in the country for household waste recycling ( Examiner, May 3)
Kirklees Council surely has a lot of explaining to do.
The council leader should come clean with a plan to improve matters to make Kirklees at least the best in the county rather than almost the worst.
Should recycling staff be on performance-related pay for recycling ?
That might stop them burning the green waste from my apartments. So often when someone puts food waste in the wrong bin two weeks of recycling for dozens of flats sharing bins gets incinerated. What a waste!
A special service
IN the churchyard of St Thomas’ Church in Thurstonland there are unmarked graves where more than 1,000 people who died in Storthes Hall Hospital in the 1900s are buried.
In the area of the graves the Parochial Church Council has erected a large, local stone to display a memorial plaque.
There is to be a Service of Dedication and Remembrance in St Thomas’ Church on June 17 at 2.30pm.
All are welcome to attend, especially anyone connected to Storthes Hall, those who worked there or families of those who are buried in the churchyard.
Member of St Thomas’ PCC
Money for hospice
WE would like to thank all neighbours, friends and family for their generous donations of £509 to the Forget Me Not Trust Children’s Hospice.
This was given in lieu of presents at our 70th Wedding Anniversary Celebrations on April 8 and 14.
Catherine and Aquilla Brant
Disabled parking spots
ON my last visit to B&Q on Leeds Road I tried to park in a disabled bay but all were taken so I sat and waited in my car with my wife (we are both disabled) as neither of us can walk far.
A man and woman walked out nearly running and got into one car with blue badge in and drove off.
When we were parking up, another younger couple came and got into the other car (blue badge) and drove off.
Neither cars seemed to be disabled so why the blue badge?
I think the car park attendants need to check the photo on the badge is in the cars.
Also there are cars parked on Saturdays and Sundays in Halifax and Dewsbury on double yellows lines.
Surely the people we see in the cars don’t own a blue badge.
We are genuine badge holders and only use it when necessary.
Hats off to posties
DURING the atrocious weather conditions I would like to thank the postmen and women for the great services they have given to the public.
They have worked outside for many years and I know what it’s like in very cold weather.
But to be honest, I’ve never known conditions like we have just experienced over the past few weeks.