County Council leader slams Labour councillor and MP for misleading the public

County Council Leader slams Labour councillor and MP for misleading the public

Conservative County Council Leader Barry Lewis made the following statement,

“We’ve heard a lot of noise from a Labour MP and councillor about the library proposals we’ve put forward, it’s a shame none of it is factual or based in reality.  

Anne Western points out that the consultation report doesn’t highlight how many groups or communities came forward to run the libraries whilst failing toacknowledge that she knows that we cannot ask these questions until after the Cabinet on 20th December. She also criticised the proposal to reduce opening hours in libraries, something her administration had already done. The duplicity is staggering.

She also fails to acknowledge that under her plan of ‘no change’ we would inevitablysee closures as the service rapidly crosses a line of unsustainability.  The model of community-managed libraries (CMLs) is proven and deliverable with nearly 400 in the UK now.  They’ve reenergised communities and seen CMLs become real community hubs engaging young and old in books and literature.  That’s what we want for our libraries. 

Let us remember only Labour has ever closed libraries in Derbyshire, including Anne, who shut down 8 mobile libraries.  So we won’t be taking Anne’s advice or advocating Labour’s archaic practices.

Even worse, Denis Skinner MP, has once again stood up in parliament today to tell ministers we are closing 20 libraries.  He clearly forgot that I had to tell him that we aren’t just a few months ago when he first made this mistake.  I couldn’t be clearer – no libraries will close on my watch.  He went on to further mislead and scaremonger by saying that all library staff will see their hours cut.  

I don’t know where he’s getting this information but his statement is neither true nor has it even been discussed and he ought to apologise to Derbyshire librarians for this misinformation.  

I’m surprised that Dennis appears to be propagating fake news on these issues.  It shows we can’t trust Labour with public services locally.”