Councillor’s call for new libraries option to be considered

County Councillor Steve Palmer.
County Councillor Steve Palmer.

A Lincolnshire County Councillor has called for the authority to look fairly at an alternative proposal put forward to keep all existing libraries open.

County Coun Steve Palmer, Lincolnshire Independent spokesman for libraries, wants all libraries to not only stay open, but kept in the control of the authority and run with professional staff.

After Judge Justice Collins’ decision in London to quash the County Council’s plans back in July, a new consultation is taking place.

Coun Palmer said: “My division of Alford and Sutton on Sea has two libraries under threat so this issue hits hard for the communities I represent.

“So I welcome the second consultation even though it is not perhaps what people thought it would be.

“In essence this new consultation is for people or groups to submit alternative proposals to supply library services to Lincolnshire within the new budget of just over £4 million per year.”

Coun Palmer continues: “My wife, Pauline, has submitted her third version of her proposal to the current consultation and it has been acknowledged as received with a promise that it will be looked at with fresh eyes by council officer Tony McGinty.”

Coun Marianne Overton MBE, leader of the Lincolnshire Independents has stated: “I am sure we would all agree, this needs to be about getting the best possible outcome for people and for libraries.

“We all want to get this right for our residents.”

Also supporting is Coun Chris Pain, leader of Independence from Europe Party at Lincolnshire County Council and added: “The best proposal was put forward by Pauline Palmer.

“It actually saved more services with increased mobile stops than the model we adopted”.

The Palmer proposal, as it is known by, is to keep all the libraries open with professional staff and keep as many mobile stops as possible throughout the county.

“The silver lining to the whole fiasco is that volunteers have come forward showing that the libraries are highly valued,” Coun Palmer adds.

The new consultation runs until the end of October and there could well be more proposals to come as Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), is expected to put forward one to be considered.