Historic “First” as Wokingham Borough Council to debate library petition

Library campaigners Anthony Vick and Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey are calling on the public to come and witness the first debate triggered by a petition in the history of Wokingham Borough Council.   The debate will take place at the Council meeting on 17th November.  It will be the first time non-councillors have had the chance to speak in a debate – and the first chance for a full public discussion of the Conservatives’ plans for the library service.

The petition asking the Conservatives to think again about privatisation of the library service is the first to exceed the threshold of 1500 signatures required to trigger a debate at Council meeting.   The petition was started after Conservative councillor UllaKarin Clark announced out of the blue in May that the Council would be “outsourcing the library service to a private sector organisation”.

Rachelle and Anthony will be speaking at the beginning of the debate, with councillors then able to join in.  Anthony believes it is important that the council takes notice of the strength of feeling about this issue.  He said “Over 2,300 people signed our petition.  They are concerned about the future of a service that many people in the Borough value.  There has been no consultation and no discussion on this issue.  I hope that the Conservatives will now, for once, listen to what the public say, and rethink their plans.”

Rachelle hopes that as many people as possible will attend the Council meeting on 17th November.   She said  “The meeting is open to the public, and I would encourage them to come and hear what councillors from both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have to say.  There is a chance sanity will prevail, as over the past few months there have been signs that the petition has forced the Conservatives to think the issue through.  I hope they will reconsider and not simply plough ahead as they have done on other issues in the past.”

Published by Woodley & Whitegates Liberal Democrats, 26 Farriers Close Woodley, Reading RG5 3DD.

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