'This is the worst council in the country, this whole administration is completely mismanaged and incompetent'

The fight has been ramped up against the Conservative party in charge of Northamptonshire County Council as campaigners take to county hall to fight for their beloved local libraries.

Thursday, 23rd November 2017, 2:08 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 5:59 pm

Dennis Meredith, deputy leader of the liberal democrats, said Northamptonshire County Council is on the brink of having Government inspectors taking over.

"This is the worst council in the country. This whole administration is completely mismanaged and incompetent. We are calling for the whole cabinet to be sacked or to resign.

"I'm not asking for elections. I just want them to stand up on their principles and resign.

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"We are also calling for 'option 4', which is where they don't close any libraries.

"They are cutting the libraries to save £2million each month just so they can they can run the county council. These cuts are going to severely affect vulnerable, elderly and local people.

"Libraries are vital for the community. People go to them to find company and educate themselves.

"They have taken over the role of the children's centres. Cutting libraries now is the same as cutting the children's centre all over again."

Chris Stanbra, leader of the Liberal Democrats group for the county council, said the Labour group is calling for a no-confidence motion in the county council.

He said: "It's unlikely to go through, but you never know, it might stir up some party rebels.

"I'm not calling for a formal coalition of course but we're happy to work with the Labour group for the good of Northamptonshire. It couldn't get any worse here."

Borough councilllor, Brian Markham (Lib Dem) said he is supporting people who are objecting to conservative plans and budget proposals, but in particular the library proposal.

"I'm involved in my area with the friends of Abington library but there are 30 odd libraries in the county, under threat. In particular we are supporting the call for option 4.

"The proposal, you can vote and you can say what you want on the libraries but all three options at the moment say there will be closures, we are in favour of the idea that there should be another option, option 4, which is no closures."

Jo Taylor from Desborough library brought a petition with 2022 signatures from residents over the closure of the library.

She said: "We find that the library is not just for books, it's for people using the computers, for the young mothers doing the learning groups, it's for the elderly people coming in to borrow a book and ask for advice and it's a real community hub for our town of Desborough."

Chair of Middleton Cheney Library supports action group, Richard Solesbury-Timms said cuts will make it impossible for the elderly to access support.

"Other than book-lending, the library hosts gardening club and a history society, none of that is being put forward in the footfall in the consultation.

"We also serve people in Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, being on the fringes of the border, and we are also a rural community so sending people out to Towcester, which is the one they are keeping open, is not an option for say people like George, who is 102, trying to expect him to go on the bus to the nearest library is not good enough."