High Court proceedings begun challenging the decision by Lincolnshire County Council to cut Library Services

On Friday 31st January papers were sent to Lincolnshire County Council setting out details of a request for a Judicial Review, in the High Court, of the County Council’s decision on 3rd December 2013 to reduce its statutory Library Service.

The claim was filed in the High Court, London, on Wednesday 29th January 2014.

The request for a Judicial Review has been issued by Public Interest Lawyers, of Eight Hylton Street, Birmingham on behalf of Simon Draper of Lincoln.

The review is asking for the Court to issue an order quashing the Council’s decision to drastically reduce its library provision across the county, made on 3rd December.

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Gala Dinner with Douglas Alexander MP

douglas_alexander_210.1Gala Dinner

This year’s gala dinner will be held on Thursday 21st November with the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander.

The event will take place at 7PM at the Old Palace in Lincoln, Minister Yard, LN2 1PU. The dinner will commence at 7.30PM with two courses and coffee (& mints). Places are limited and cost £35 per head ( and a special rate for students). There will be an auction and other fundraising events throughout the night. Cheques and number MUST be in by November 1st. Please send all cheques to Grafton.

Save Lincolnshire Libraries Campaign

Lincoln Labour Party, along with other groups in the region, are campaigning against the Lincolnshire County Council’s proposal to shut around two-thirds of the 44 libraries in the county. Along with the closures, additional cuts are to be made to a number of mobile libraries services across the county and up to 180 jobs are also expected to be lost.

To fight against these cuts to public services, please sign the petition online at http://savelincslibraries.org.uk/ or contact your Labour Councillor to sign a paper copy.

Labour’s Statement of Values, Priorities and Messages Lincolnshire County Council Elections: May 2013

Values

Beliefs: We believe that public services are important. We believe that by working together through democratically elected councillors we can achieve more than by relying on the market to deliver.

As a community we believe we can achieve more through working towards a common goal than by dividing people against each other. It is only when everyone sees that they have a part to play and a common belief in what we are all trying to achieve that we can together achieve the best for Lincolnshire.

Openness: We know difficult decisions need to be made but we will make them in a fair and open way and involve local people.

Social Justice: We don’t think it is right that from 1 April, 7 million people will lose some form of state benefit at the same time that 13,000 of the richest people in the country will see their tax bills reduce by over £100,000 a year.

Supporting local communities: Where we live is important to us all. Labour councillors are committed to being real community representatives, which means being involved with local people to make local communities good places to live, work and enjoy.

Priorities

Labour councillors have political priorities. We will change some policies (eg influence schools to stay within the local authority), and shift some money around.

In the long term we will look to reverse the rush to outsource council services to the private sector. We will, wherever it makes sense both financially and from a best value point of view, look to both keep services in house and bring services back to the council.

We will work towards paying a living wage for all our low paid staff and to making the provision of a living wage by council contractors a contractual requirement.

We will look to work with partners to offer more quality apprenticeships across Lincolnshire so that every young person who wants to have the opportunity can take it.

To deliver successful services we need a strong economy. For too long Lincolnshire has been economically at a disadvantage to the rest of Britain. Building on the success of our Universities, the creation of Lincoln University being a major achievement of the last Labour led county council, we will look to invest in and develop the local economy.

The next twelve months.

For the next twelve months our priority will be to attack inequality and tackle disadvantage. This is what we want to do.

  1. Introduce a council backed scheme with partners to tackle fuel poverty through a new insulation scheme and a Lincolnshire wide negotiation, on behalf of Lincolnshire households who want it, to find a lower cost supplier of electricity and gas. We will vigorously follow up the recommendations of the Council’s own report on tackling fuel poverty.
  2. Following the transfer of Public Health to the council we will set up a new programme totackle the shocking difference in mortality rates across Lincolnshire. It cannot be acceptable that depending on where you live can mean you may expect to die 10 years earlier. The aim is to have everyone, wherever they live in Lincolnshire, having an equal life expectancy.
  3. In such a large county we need to ensure that people, wherever they live, can usepublic transport in one form or another to get to work and to participate in the community. We will therefore increase the subsidies for public transport.
  4. High speeds in residential areas mean more deaths and injuries on our roads. We willintroduce 20mph traffic schemes across the county for communities whether they are in towns or villages who want to see slower speeds.
  5. We will introduce a new programme in partnership with education providers  toimprove the levels of educational qualifications for adults particularly in the east of the county.
  6. Jobs are a priority for young people. We will provide additional targeted investment to work with partners to provide a proper programme of work and training opportunities for all young people in Lincolnshire.
  7. The children we look after as corporate parents must be a priority for any council. We will provide more funding to ensure every child we look after has the best start in life and support them as if they were our own children.
  8. Children with special education needs are much more likely to be excluded from school than any other group. We will provide additional funding to tackle this scandal and strongly follow up the recommendations by the recent council report on School Admissions and Exclusions.
  9. Clogging up our town and city centres with cars and other vehicles causes pollution and congestion. We will provide funding towards the setting up of a new Park and Ride scheme in Lincoln with our partners.
  10.  Young people need a place to meet, talk to their friends, to trusted and trained adults, drink coffee or just relax. The 41 youth centres across the county use to provide this before the cuts. We will begin to rebuild the youth service across the county by providing additional funding.
  11. One of the biggest indicators of disadvantage through life is the lack of educational qualifications. Labour brought in the Education Maintenance Allowance, which the Tories abolished, to help children from poorer families stay on in education and get the full benefit of the investment in their education. We will introduce a local education maintenance allowance to enable more children from disadvantaged families to achieve their maximum potential.

Messages

Labour councillors are putting forward a positive agenda in tough times. We will deliver value for money services and manage the council’s budget effectively whilst responding to the needs of local people and communities.
Councils are delivering fewer services because the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government has cut funding.
Despite cuts in funding, the Conservatives in Lincolnshire have made many bad choices in cutting important services like those for older people as well as youth services and doing less to bring jobs to the county. That cannot continue.
Talking to and engaging with local people in this election is the most important thing we can do. We will do our very best to meet as many people as we can to explain our policies and listen and respond to what people have to say.
Robert Parker
Leader of the Labour Group
Lincolnshire County Council