Two Questions to Cabinet and Answers 11 February 2009


Swindon Borough Council Cabinet, Wednesday 11 February 2009, Public Question Time
Mrs. Shirley Burnham  -  Agenda Item 7 : Old Town Library.

Details of your proposals with regard to Old Town Library have now been considered by the Conservative Group and will be formally considered at this Cabinet Meeting.  If these are approved, can you confirm that 'proper consultation with the public' will be undertaken before their implementation and give details of this process ?


A consultation has been undertaken on the budget first proposed to cabinet on 10 December 2008.  Hundreds of members of the public have commented on the council's proposals regarding the Park and ride and Swindon Dance and, apart from a petition, a few residents have also commented on the changes to the Borough's library service to build on the spectacular success of the borough's new facilities at Park and the Central Library.

The proposals affecting the re-provisioning of libraries are part of the whole budget and are not some separate entity, however much those wanting to defend any one particular library may hope they are unique.  In addition to the active consultation on the budget, the Council has also co-operated with an independent consultant suggested by Mrs Burnham.  At the end of the day, this council has to present a legal budget that covers the whole range of services.  A consultation has occurred on this, and both Cabinet on 11 February and Full Council on 23 February will be in possession of sufficient information to make a decision.

Supplementary Question & Response from Councillor Nick Martin

Question : Are there any other libraries affected by similar proposals?

Councillor Nick Martin's (Member with portfolio for Libraries) response :

"No, there aren't". When pressed, he avoided the question and spoke about Central Library.   A Labour councillor seated with the public shouted out "Answer the question!" More obfustication from Councillor Martin.   Some little clamour ensued and the Officer seated at the Cabinet table on his left, Bernie Brannan, whispered a couple of times in his ear.   Councillor Martin then named "Even Swindon and Gorse Hill" libraries.

Any Comments ? - Was the Question Answered ?

If you have comments about the written reply to Shirley's question, please contact Councillor Nick Martin, Cabinet Member with portfolio for libraries:

Mail Councillor Martin

You can also contact your Ward Councillors to express your concerns.  Please
Click here Old Town & Lawn Councillors and then on the link bearing the Councillor's name (top left)

Please use the link below if you wish to contact the Leader of the Council, Councillor Roderick Bluh :    Mail Councillor Bluh