In response to the letter from Maurice Nauta, I’d like to explain why the council has changed the way it deals with petitions.
Firstly, the new arrangements will make it easier to bring a petition to the council and increase from 3 to 5 minutes the time allowed to present it.
In addition, petitioners will have the opportunity to require a proper debate and in-depth discussion on their subject at a specialist committee.
This is a far better option than the often pointless 15 minute debate between councillors, which does not give enough time for serious consideration and has often degenerated into grandstanding.
As before there will still be debates at council meetings, giving the opportunity to bring forward issues.
As for his ridiculous claims that we have tried to push this ‘under the radar’, I would like to remind him that this decision was taken openly and democratically by the full council – a meeting that we broadcast via our website.
And in regard to his comments about changes to library services, I can assure Mr Nauta we have listened.
We listened to all the feedback received during the consultation, and this was taken into account in making our decision.
We listened to the findings of the judicial review, and have taken action to address the issues raised.
However, this has not changed the fact that the service needs to find £1.7m of annual savings, in light of the council’s substantially reduced budget.
And, having considered all this information, and given the continuing fall in usage, we still believe our proposal is the way forward.
Cllr Nick Worth
Executive Member for Libraries