January 20, 2009
Please write to Andy Burnham, the Minister
It is unclear from the news reports whether 11 or 15 libraries will close in the Wirral out of the 24 that are currently open
Nevertheless it is clear that in closing even 11 the council is behaving wholly irresponsibly and that as a 'Library Authority' it is required by law to provide a comprehensive and efficient service to the 320,000 people who are residents of the area of their council and others who work, visit or study there.
The 1964 Libraries Act, still in force, explains these obligations and also determines that the Secretary of State responsible shall obtain such information as is needed to superintend the service and be assured that the authority complies. He or she has the power, if there is evidence or concern of non compliance, to intervene in an appropriate manner. This power was used once before in the case of Derbyshire where an independent judge was appointed and made recommendations with which the council was obliged to comply.
Ministers, normally unwilling to interfere with local council management, are more likely to act if they receive a substantial number of requests from the public to do so, particularly from people affected by the proposals. The more letters, the more likely is an improvement
Please therefore, if you believe that Wirral council appears not to be fulfilling its library duties, write to
Right Hon Andy Burnham MP
Secretary of State for Culture
Department of Culture, Media and Sports
2-4 Cockspur Street
London SW1Y 5DH
and ask him to exercise his power to intervene in the management of the library service in The Wirral
Posted by Perkins at January 20, 2009 12:12 PM
You will probably already have seen this email from the Stock Manager of Huyton Library:
Is anyone interested in ‘A history of the British cavalry’, by The Marquess of Angelsea that I am withdrawing from our Ref collection? It’s in 8 volumes, a 1998 reprint of a 1994 edition, complete and in reasonable condition, but with slightly faded spines. Free to a good home, but I would appreciate the postage being paid.
Stock and Reader Development Manager
Three questions begged here:
1) Why are these valuable reference works being disposed of?
2) Has this public servant asked the tax payers of Knowsley if they mind her giving away expensive books which they paid good money for?
3) If she has to dispose of these books (questionable) doesn't she have the nouse to consult Amazon Marketplace where she would find single volumes on offer for up to £50 each?
Posted by: Pierre at January 21, 2009 4:31 PM
Is it my imagination or are the CIPFA figure getting a little later each year?
Posted by: Martyn at January 21, 2009 11:17 PM