Thursday 16 December 2010

Libraries protest - Robert Rams response + Our response

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 7:51 PM
Subject: Re: Extremely Urgent : Library consultation

Dear Councillor Rams
Thank you for your response. I am sorry to that the email address you provided to me bounced back from your email gateway. Please can you provide an alternative means of contacting Aysen.Girlti. I have made enquiries through my contacts at Barnet Council, but I would appreciate it if you would validate the email address. I will make arrangements to hand over the petition as and when I get a contact that works.
With regards to the petition - Th wording is as follows :-
We the Undersigned, are totally opposed to the closure, sell off or downgrading of the Library service in the London Borough of Barnet.

We believe that Libraries are a vital part of the Borough and recognise the importance of having trained Libraries run by trained librarians. We believe that it is vital to have "quiet space" for students to study.

We believe that closure of the service would cause untold damage to the citizens of Barnet and is totally opposed by the vast majority of the population.
From your email below, you state that you "do not recognise the plans". Please can you confirm that the following are excluded from your plans
1. Closure of libraries.
2. The selling off of Library building freeholds
3. The downgrading of facilities whithin libraries
4. Plans to make trained librarians redundant
If you can confirm that all of these have been specifically ruled out as part of your review, I will be most pleased to print a full clarification. In the event that these are part of the plan, then I would ask that you clarify why you don't recognise them from the petition. I would be more than happy to explain the exact meaning of the petition in person to you, should you feel that the wording is unclear.
Please can you as a matter of urgency inform me of the "council bylaws" which prohibit the handing of petitions to councillors or members of the cabinet. I have copied the Jeff Lustig into this email, as maybe he can be helpful in explaining why it is unlawful to present petitions to Councillors.
Roger Tichborne
Coordinator of the Save Barnet Libraries Campaign.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 2:04 PM
Subject: RE: Extremely Urgent : Library consultation

Dear Mr Tichborne.

Thank you for your invitation for a festive drink. I am afraid that I will be unable to join you.

However council by-laws state that petitions should be handed into the council’s Democratic Services Manager if they are to be properly recorded so I suggest that you make contact with 

I have to say I do not recognise the plans you outline in your petition. Unlike other boroughs where there have been announcements about making dramatic cuts to library service, Barnet is holding a discussion about how we can best provide an effective service into the future. This should involve us looking at new models of how we provide this service to residents and indeed this approach has been praised by the Museum and Library Archives Council, who recently carried out a peer review of our process.

Our official library consultation closes on the 17, so please feel free to contribute at

All the best

Cllr Rams