UKIP leads no confidence bid in Lincolnshire County Council bosses on libraries issue

Coun Bill Aron supports Lincolnshire County Council's proposals for libraries
Coun Bill Aron supports Lincolnshire County Council's proposals for libraries

An online petition calling for the leader and the executive of Lincolnshire County Council to stand down has been launched.

The campaign follows UKIP councillors, including Tattershall member Colin Mair, trying to dump the council leadership in a vote of no confidence this Friday.

Last week, council leader Martin Hill apologised over the handling of the libraries consultation process after a Judicial Review quashed council plans to cut £2 million the libraries budget.

Locally, opening hours at Horncastle Library and the futures of libraries at Coningsby/Tattershall and Wragby were thrown into doubt with the council planning to hand control to community groups.

Coun Mair, UKIP’s group leader on the county council, said the no confidence motion is because the Judicial Review highlighted how the council executive failed to take notice of the offer from Greenwhich Leisure to take over the running of the libraries.

It means the council must carry out more consultation when it has already spent £100,000 on consultation, plus £65,000 on legal costs, which was a “waste of money at great times of austerity.”

He doubted UKIP would gain the numbers to beat the ruling Conservative-Lib Dem coalition in County Hall: “We feel we needed to stir things up to say this sort of thing is not good enough,” he said.

Council chairman Bill Aron (Horncastle and Tetford-Independent) opposed the no confidence vote, saying local government faces difficult times and the council has been successful in finding savings.

“The council’s proposals around the libraries will maintain a comprehensive and efficient library service within a reduced budget,” he said.

The Save Lincolnshire Libraries petition was devised by activist Derek Warriner.