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#326865 - 9th Jun 2009 11:45am Library closures inquiry underway at Floral Pavili
_jase_
Unregistered


Library closures inquiry underway at Floral Pavilion in New Brighton

A TWO-DAY public inquiry into the proposed closure of 11 Wirral libraries is now underway.

A panel, headed by Sue Charteris, a public consultancy expert specialising in local government and public service reform, opened the inquiry at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton on at 9.30am.

It is expected to conclude on Wednesday night.

The inquiry was announced in April by the then Culture Secretary Andy Burnham after a public outcry over the plans which formed part of Wirral council's strategic asset review.

It followed a much criticised six-week consultation exercise in December.

Addressing the audience of more than 250 people, Ms Charteris said: "I'd like to thank everybody who has provided evidence for this inquiry."

Among those who will address the panel - which also includes representatives from the council, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and Richard Clayton QC - is Alec McFadden, from Wirral TUC.

Mr McFadden told the Globe: "I hope that people are going to be listened too.

"The people of Wirral have spoken and I'm hoping that this inquiry, which culture secretary Ben Bradshaw has taken over, will take on board what is said.

"I've got very, very high expectations.

"What we have in Wirral is madness by a bunch of politicians who've got a majority.

"They are using this majority in an undemocratic way and have ignored the people of Wirral."

Don McCubbin, a campaigner for Irby Library, told the Globe: "I hope that Sue Charteris manages to see what the council cannot see; that is that Wirral actually needs community libraries and not centralised services.

"The opposition to this is extremely strong in Irby.

"For example, on February 7 we had 250 Irby residents turn out to the library for a councillor's surgery.

"When Sue Charteris saw a photograph of that she commented that she'd never seen a councillor's surgery like it."


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#326867 - 9th Jun 2009 11:55am Re: Library closures inquiry underway at Floral Pavili [Re: ]
DJ_Karl_David Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 4th May 2009
Posts: 1151
Loc: Birkenhead
my mates doing security at that incase it kicks off haha

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#326869 - 9th Jun 2009 12:03pm Re: Library closures inquiry underway at Floral Pavili [Re: DJ_Karl_David]
DavidB Offline
Wiki Guide

Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5599
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
There will be two outcomes over this:

a) the verdict goes towards the council, and public services get reduced.

or,

b) the verdict goes towards the council, and public services get reduced, and then a further load get closed, just to spite us.

They're like that is Wirral Metropolitan Council.
_________________________
"C20 LET bang"

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#326873 - 9th Jun 2009 12:27pm Re: Library closures inquiry underway at Floral Pavili [Re: DavidB]
paper_boy Offline
Newbeee

Registered: 17th Dec 2007
Posts: 34
Loc: wirral
You can follow what's going on on the Wirral News site. They're live bloging it. And you can add your own comments!

www.wirralnews.co.uk

http://www.wirralnews.co.uk/wirral-news/...80491-23817987/

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#326892 - 9th Jun 2009 2:56pm Re: Library closures inquiry underway at Floral Pavili [Re: DJ_Karl_David]
bigpete Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 7th May 2009
Posts: 336
Loc: Thingwall
Originally Posted By: Deadmau5
my mates doing security at that incase it kicks off haha


Hope he only kicks the councillors and Alan Stennard - they deserve it...

Mind you from what I've heard - no councillors who support the unlawful SAR are there - only head of regeneration and a QC (daily rate @550-00)......
Strange....

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#327076 - 10th Jun 2009 11:28am Re: Library closures inquiry underway at Floral Pavili [Re: bigpete]
_jase_
Unregistered


LIBRARY INQUIRY UPDATE: Children and old people 'will lose out'



THE closure of 11 libraries would have a harmful effect on community life across Wirral, the local inquiry has heard.

Addressing the panel at the Floral Pavillion this afternoon, representatives from each of the libraries, said that vulnerable groups such as the elderly and children would be left without what they called a vital community resource if their library was to close.

Among them was Elizabeth Webster, from Hoylake Action Group.

Mrs Webster, whose children are regular users of Hoylake Library, said: "The library is extremely well-used and is not just a place for the lending of books.

"It is ranked fourth in Wirral for computer usage.

"Its closure would be inconsistent with the council's strategic asset review.

"The closure of the library would generate more car journeys."

Val Curtis, speaking in support of Irby library said: "Libraries are a way of escape. They are intergenerational havens and retreats."

Fellow campaigner Dave Hall criticised senior members of the council, when he said: "The council's consultation with the public has been a complete sham.

"I know there were rules and protocols, but I do not necessarily agree with them.

"Headteachers were told they were not allowed to comment on the closures."

Sue Charteris, chairing the inquiry, ordered that Mr Hall's political comments were struck.

Esther McVey, prospective Conservative Candidate for Wirral West, said: "We don't want anything that could lead to social exclusion.

"No consideration has been given to the impact on community life.

"I call on Wirral Council to stop this closure programme."

According to a Globe source, the QC hired to represent the council has been paid in thye greion of 15,000 - and so far he has not yet cross-questioned anyone presenting evidence.


THE GLOBE

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#327078 - 10th Jun 2009 11:30am Re: Library closures inquiry underway at Floral Pavili [Re: ]
_jase_
Unregistered


Final day of Wirral library inquiry




THE second part of a public inquiry into the proposed closure of 11 Wirral libraries is underway this morning.

A panel, chaired by public policy Sue Charteris, will ask the council to give evidence on how their controversial proposal - which forms part of the strategic asset review - meets the demands of library users from acoss the borough, including the elderly, unemployed and those with special educational needs and satisfies the requirements of the 1964 Libraries Act.

The session, which is also open to the public, starts at 9.30am.

Among those with concerns is Liz Webster, from Hoylake Library Action Group.

Speaking to the Globe a few moments ago, the mother of two said: "By the council's own admission, the plans to replace Hoylake with an enhanced library service at West Kirby depend on a complex public/private partnership underpinned by enabling retail development.

"Even based on the council's time table, the earliest this will be available is four years time.

"My youngest daughter Charlotte will have gone almost half her lifetime without what the council consider the right level of library provision.

"The 'neighbourhood centre' will not be in the centre of our neighbourhood."

In her closing speech yesterday, Ms Charteris - who was selected by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to chair the inquiry - told the audience: "There is a set of issues around usage levels and demand and how the council anticipate the working of libraries after closure.

"Clearly there are some questions about the plans for relocation and provision."

She ended: "So we're going to be buy tomorrow."

THE GLOBE

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#327094 - 10th Jun 2009 12:17pm Re: Library closures inquiry underway at Floral Pavili [Re: ]
_jase_
Unregistered


LIBRARY INQUIRY: 'No specific consultation' on closures was taken, admits senior Wirral council officer


WIRRAL'S director of regeneration has outlined the library closure programe on the second day of a local inquiry.

During a heated 90-minute session at the Floral Pavilion this morning, Alan Stennard said the plans, part of the strategic asset review, aimed to deliver an enriched service for the borough.

He told panel chairman Sue Charteris, who had to bring the jeering audience of more than 100 people to order on a few occasions: "It's our assessment that the 13 libraries will be placed in the best views of the public.

"In the case of the proposed 13 libraries, the strategic asset review looked at several options in terms of future delivery.

"We looked at the proposal of five libraries, but this was rejected.

"It's a balancing act. If the council had unlimited resources to maintain our 24 libraries and could afford to buy superb books, we wouldn't be here today.

"We will continue to meet our statutory requirements of the 1964 libraries act.

"If we continue to provide 24 libraries it will mean having to maintain those buildings, something we are not able to do."

Asked whether a separate consultation had taken place about the libraries' future, Mr Stennard replied: "No. We didn't undertake a specific consultation on the library service, because it was part of the SAR consultation."

The consultation continues

THE GLOBE

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#353318 - 30th Sep 2009 6:46pm Re: Library closures inquiry underway at Floral Pavili [Re: ]
Softy_Southerner Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 2nd May 2008
Posts: 4090
Loc: Back in Devon
Good News then! It said on the News just now that they overturned this decision.
I wonder at what cost though????

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#353322 - 30th Sep 2009 7:20pm Re: Library closures inquiry underway at Floral Pavili [Re: Softy_Southerner]
MissGuided Offline

Awesome
Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
Monthly bin collections.
_________________________


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#353352 - 30th Sep 2009 9:51pm Re: Library closures inquiry underway at Floral Pavili [Re: MissGuided]
purfek Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 23rd Apr 2009
Posts: 431
Loc: oxton
I think the cost is more of a re think parks open spaces, golf!
public private ownership so it should be interesting to see how it works out.

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