What now?

(I realise we aren’t actually in a recession and I don’t know who Ms Crumblehulme is, but you get the point!)

The LBWF consultation period finished on January 31st, 2017. The Council were due to make their report (including the findings of the consultation) public and available by March 3rd and ready for the Neighbourhood Scrutiny Committee on March 13th.

This hasn’t happened.  A statement was released in February saying:

“It had been hoped that this report could be presented at Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet in March 2017, however we have asked Scrutiny that the Scrutiny meeting be rescheduled to allow the results of the consultation to be considered in more detail. 

Cllr Sharon Waldron, Cabinet Member for Digital and Customer Services said: “We received over 2,000 responses to the public consultation, and I would like to thank everyone who took part and gave their views.

We want to ensure that all the feedback we received is given proper consideration, so we are taking more time to prepare the report that will be presented to Cabinet. We have been very clear from the start of this process that we are committed to listening to residents.” (full statement here)

A recent update on the council’s meeting calendar here indicates that we are unlikely to see the report and hear what the recommendations and decisions for the future of Higham Hill Library are “before 1st June 2017”.

While more than 2000 responses is brilliant, what can we do in the meantime? The most useful thing is to make contact with the councillors involved in the decision making process.

The Scrutiny Committee members

and the current  Cabinet members:

NB. Councillor Clare Coghill  will be the new Council Leader from May onwards.

Some of these councillors are not local (ie. associated with the affected Wards – Higham Hill, William Morris, Chapel End) and may not be aware of the issues with the consultation, the concerns of  local residents and the misrepresentation of our library. They will only have heard the ‘official’ version and promotion of the council’s preferred option to demolish Higham Hill Library. It is up to us to let them know that destroying our much loved library is NOT the way to go.

So get writing, go to surgeries and ward meetings, tell them the truth about our library (all contact details are available through the links above). Let them know that destruction of the building means much more than losing bricks and mortar. And most of all let them know that they are not hearing the full story from their own officers!

Oh and if you haven’t done it already  – do sign our petition please!