Ideological plans to make ten libraries in Surrey volunteer-run face fresh delays after Surrey County Council’s Communities Select Committee “called in” the libraries decision for further scrutiny.
Under SCC’s constitution, any three members of a select committee can, under exceptional circumstances, call in a decision made by the cabinet for re-assessment. The committee can then request the cabinet reconsiders its decision. The constitution also states that the council must not make any moves to implement the plan until the scrutiny process is complete, at the earliest.
Residents’ Association (Jan Mason) and Liberal Democrat (John Orrick and Colin Taylor) members of the Communities Select Committee demanded the call-in due to the decision being irrational and unreasonable, and due to evident public outrage over the decision. The decision, they say:
- does not have adequate justification,
- does not abide by the High Court Order of 1st May, having not taken fully into consideration the High Court judgment of April 3rd 2012, and
- has not been scrutinised by council or by any committee since the library plans were ruled unlawful by the high court, since the announcement that the plans would save no money and since the “shambolic” equalities consultation.
Full grounds of the call in are here.
The special meeting of the Communities Select Committee (the call in) will take place at 10am on Thursday 16th August at County Hall, (London Borough of) Kingston-upon-Thames and will call witnesses including Council leader, David Hodge, volunteers, members of volunteer steering groups and a SLAM representative.