Last night was the second half of the Sefton Overview & Scrutiny meeting looking into Labour’s Cabinet decision not to allow volunteers to take over the running of Aintree and Collage Road Libraries in the Borough. The first half of the meeting having ended in chaos in early December 2013 as previously noted on this blog site.
The result was sadly quite predictable as Labour members of the Committee used their inbuilt majority to back their Cabinet colleague’s previous decision to, in effect, tell the volunteers to sling their hook.
What Labour had to gain from refusing to allow the volunteers an opportunity to have a go at running the now closed libraries is anyone’s guess but they were simply not going to let it happen.
It is Municipal socialism gone mad! This was no longer about whether the Council had the money to keep the libraries open it was about a Labour-run Council saying we have decided not to run these 2 libraries any more and we are not going to let volunteers do it either.
Interestingly, this time the Council’s Chief Executive answered virtually all the questions rather than the Council officers who had taken so much heat at the first meeting. Also, Council Leader Peter Dowd said nothing this time, having all but taken over the meeting in December when his own Labour members had effectively pressed the panic button is the face of well informed volunteers who had them on the rack.
Labour members of the Committee asked no questions what so ever and simply sat there voting down Lib Dem proposals for the matters before the Committee to be sent back to the Cabinet to be reconsidered or sent to a meeting of the whole Council for a full debate.
Labour should hang its head in shame; treating volunteers so badly is nothing to be proud of. Indeed, I saw Labour supporters smiling at the end of the meeting! Smiling at what?