Letter: ‘Out of touch’ over libraries plans

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The arrogance of Martin Hill (Con) Leader of Lincolnshire County Council knows no bounds, and his recent comments show that he is totally out of touch with the people of Lincolnshire.

He has been quoted as saying: “There’s been judicial reviews of every single council that tried to review its libraries service, and that’s not surprising.” The truth however is totally different, and there has been just seven applications for judicial reviews so far, but there are 151 library authorities in England alone. That’s hardly all of them. Councillor Hill then goes on to say: “If people feel its necessary to have a judicial review they should pay for it themselves.”

With the review costing up to £25k, Councillor Hill is effectively saying only rich people should be able to challenge the legality of local council decisions. Local libraries are available for people of all walks of life to use, not just the wealthy who have tens of thousands to spare. Legal Aid is there as a way for people to hold to account decisions by local and national executives. This is part of our democracy, to give ordinary people a legal voice when they require it, regardless of status. The eight person executive of Lincolnshire County Council ignored over 24,000 voices who opposed the Council’s Libraries plan, and now the Council Leader has the audacity to say that we should not question their decision unless we are the wealthy elite. Whatever happened to democracy in Lincolnshire ? If it is not already dead, it is certainly on the critical list.

Andrew Bowell

Burchnall Close, 
Deeping St James