. .

THIS WEEK East Sussex: 100 businesses benefit from EU grants scheme

COMMUNITY Care and Support scheme reaches milestone

BUSINESS Media Release: Art Gallery for the Bay


Tuesday 6 March 2018
Webcast live here. The decision making process and discussion with regard to the proposals to close seven libraries, including Pevensey Bay library in East Sussex live this morning.

The Magnificent Seven: Final library decisions webcast live by East Sussex County Council

10:05, Stephen Lloyd MP speaks on behalf of Langney and Wilingdon libraries, talking about how library staff had helped a disadvantaged girl to read.

10:10 Deborah Buden speaks with precision about Polegate Library, speaking about the petition her group raised, people with disabilities and mental health questions. Short, sharp and precise presentation, spoken with deliberation about what appears to be ‘a foregone conclusion’. Celebrate libraries, she suggests. Passionate 5 minute speech that generates applause.

10:15 Liz Owen; Save Ringmer Library now speaking. You can get to Lewes library in 10 minutes if you come in the middle of the night.

10;25 Rupert Clubb, Director of Communities, Economy and Transport speaking and defending consultation exercise. He says the consultation was evidence based and prioritised resources. Consultation he says was clear and reliable. Speaking low level mandarin speak he says “Needs assessment plays out to the overall picture”. He begins to talk about ‘travel time methodology.’ Weak defensive case put.

10:30: Abi Boniface, Head Girl of Polegate School now speaking with passion about the needs of her community, gives useful definition of both community and library. She ends by saying “Do not shut the door on a whole world”.

10:40: Cllr Swansborough speaking about the denial of public access to discussions. Says the report is “pure Sussex County Council speak”. Travel time methodolgy was not ressonable. They have have followed the bus timetables, but do the the buses follow the bus times. I could not possibly speak more eloquently that the young lady before. What we are doing as a group of people is destroying our communities..

10:50: Cllr Philip Daniel: Speaks eloquently about how East Sussex County Council has pre-judged questions in the consultation aexercise. He explains that the transition programme should be extended.

10:55: Cllr Alan Shuttleworth says the way in which the consultation was undertaken was flawed. He says “If that is not pre-determination, I don’t know what is”.

11:10: Cllr Sarah Osborne asks has consultation exercise over closures ever been reversed by East Sussex County Council?

11:15 Cllr Bob Standley, says if the libraries close he is sure that community projects will come forward.

11:20 Cllr Godfrey Daniel says , “what is it that people could actually say to change your mind. That is not a real consultation”.

11:41: Cllr David Tutt talks about the importance of the universal access of libraries quoting a local government association report published last year “of which East Sussex County Council is a member”. He describes the proposals as ‘a very sad day what we have the report before us today’. He says that he fears this process is flawed. “I believe this is nothing short of pre-determination’

11:50: Cllr Roy Galley says that we need to take into account changing times “for some thing he says times have moved on, libraries are one of those particular occasions”. He also says, “we have been treated this morning to significant hyperbole”. He says that “we have to been hard headed”.

11: 55: Cllr Daniel Shing questions what the Council means by need. He points to two different ways in which the term is used and seeks clarification. Leader of the Council, Keith Glazier seems slightly flustered at this point and offers the view that the question will be answered in the summing up later in the discussion. Keith Glazier questions the relevance of what is being said.

12:10: Cllr John Ungar says “I think the decision has already been made”, adding “pre-determined by your political philosophy” and “We know what the answer today is going to be”. He finishes by saying “please, please ensure that library provision continues”.

12:22 Cllr Tom Liddiard describes himself as being in a unique position, representing Pevensey and Stone Cross. He says that he has Pevensey Bay Library “primarily within my division”. He explains that he has hosted a number of meetings, but adds that this was with a Member of Parliament. He talks about two community ownership proposals for Pevensey Bay Library coming forward. He says that he hopes that the cabinet will consider a proposal for the Pevensey Bay Library to be taken into community ownership.

12:35 Cllr Peter Pragnell talks about the 17 libraries that will be left if seven are closed. He says that he is sure that the statutory duty is being met by East Sussex County Council.

12:44: Cllr Carl Maynard, Cabinet Member says that the reality is that “we are one of the only councils in the land that has investigated significantly in the library stock”. He then says twice, to add emphasis, “there is no magic money tree”.

12:56: Mr Rupert Clubb, Director of Communities, Economy and Transport sums up. He deals with points raised. On the question of need in the report and a separate definition in one of the appendices, in pure East Sussex County Council speak, he says “the latter flows from the former”. He stresses that the report is evidence led. He explains that the review of the consultation found that it was robust. He says that “we do believe this strategy meets our statutory duties”.

1:10: Cllr Bill Bentley says that the Council has to make decisions for all residents and that Council has to consider the whole of the community and that the council “has to be confident of what it can deliver”

1:15 Cllr Keith Glazier, Leader of Council and Cabinet Member explains ‘we have had a thorough debate”. He says “we have before us these five recommendations” He says “is it your wish Cabinet colleagues that we support these recommendations?

The vote is passed unanimously and Keith Glazier asks for a five minute break.