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Lib Dems call on County Council to abandon expensive legal battle

January 24, 2012 4:18 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

DIANA WALLIS MEP CALLS FOR BETTER EU TRAINING FOR NATIONAL JUDGESLiberal Democrats on Surrey County Council are calling for the Conservative administration to abandon their plans to replace professional staff in 10 of the County's libraries with volunteers, rather than continue with a costly legal fight against Surrey residents in the High Court.

Following the High Court order on Friday by Hon. Mr Justice Wyn Williams, that the County Council should 'take no irrevocable steps towards implementing the Community Partnered Libraries (CPLs) decision impugned in these proceedings until further order of this court', Cllr Hazel Watson, the Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition on Surrey County Council, said:

"I am calling on the Conservative administration at Surrey County Council to immediately end its unpopular and ill-conceived plans to axe professional library staff and replace them with volunteers, and to abandon the squandering of council taxpayers money on an expensive and drawn out legal battle in the High Court.

"The Conservative administration should be listening to Surrey residents who value their local libraries and want to protect them from being downgraded and potentially being closed. Local communities want their libraries to be fully staffed with professional librarians to ensure a good service is maintained.

"Continuing with the ill-advised and unpopular High Court battle is not a good use of Surrey council taxpayers money. The Conservative controlled County Council should be serving Surrey's residents, not fighting them in the High Court.

"At the Budget Meeting on 7 February Surrey County Council Liberal Democrats will be calling for a change to the County Council's Budget for 2012/13 to reverse the Conservative administrations' Community Partnered Libraries plan so every library across the County is fully staffed with professional librarians."