This press release got put up and taken down again from the council’s website this morning (text below). It talks about giving residents â€œFIRST SIGHT OF COUNCIL’S LIBRARIES REPORTâ€ but does not point out that the council are refusing to publish the actual documents that will be discussed next Tuesday until Monday morning which will give people no time to actually read the documents and take part in the debate. You might have thought that the press release would include a link to the documents, but no. Labour councillors can read them and get their story straight in advance but the public will have to take part in the meeting with little preparation.
The Conservative opposition have forced this meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny committee specifically so that the changes to our library service can be properly debated before a cabinet meeting that will decide the way forward. Labourâ€™s proposals have been rejected by residents and they seem reluctant to publish their way forward in time for it to be properly debated in spite of the fact that the documents have already been prepared. It is clear from council leader Cllr Bellâ€™s comments that he has seen the documents but he wontâ€™ let you see them.
Can we see them today please Cllr Bell?
Update: Apparently as a special concession we will get to see the documents on Friday. Labour councillors have had them for some days.
FIRST SIGHT OF COUNCIL’S LIBRARIES REPORT
Residents are being invited to review and discuss the councilâ€™s report on the future of the boroughâ€™s library services.
The councilâ€™s overview and scrutiny committee will meet on Tuesday,
28 June at 7pm in Ealing Town Hall to discuss a detailed report that outlines its proposals to develop the boroughâ€™s library services.
The report includes the results of a six-week public consultation that more than 3,000 residents and library users took part in. The committee will explore options for how libraries could be run in the future.
Leader of the council, Councillor Julian Bell, said: â€œThe consultation highlighted two things, residentsâ€™ passion for the libraries and some interesting concepts for the council to consider working with community organisations to deliver the services. We will continue to explore these options over the coming months.
â€œWe are determined to deliver a high-quality library service that serves all residents across the borough. This meeting is the first opportunity to look at how we can work with volunteers and community groups.
â€œWe have been committed to asking residentsâ€™ views before making any decisions. This meeting is the next step of the process.â€
The meeting being held in the Liz Cantell room of Ealing Town Hall is open to members of the public. Anyone wishing to ask specific questions or to speak at the meeting must contact Keith Fraser, head of scrutiny and committees on 020 8825 7497 or email by midday on Wednesday, 27 June.
Recommendations from the meeting will be presented to the councilâ€™s cabinet when they consider the report at their meeting on Tuesday, 5 July at 7pm in Ealing Town Hall.