March 20, 2011
to save Highbridge Library from closure goes to London
district councillor Joe Leach has taken the fight to save Highbridge
Library from closure to London.
Cllr Leach travelled to the Department for Communities and Local
Government to hand deliver a letter to Secretary of State Eric
He then met Burnham's MP, Tessa Munt, in Parliament to discuss
questioning the Secretary of State in the House of Commons.
It follows a response to Cllr Leach's original letter in January
this year, when Eric Pickles declined to answer questions regarding
his statement to Parliament last December when he called on councils
to share senior members of staff and back office functions before
considering the closure of libraries.
Cllr Leach was unhappy that the Secretary of State simply handed
the letter over to another department, which sent back a generic
letter giving nothing more than details of cuts in the budget.
Cllr Leach told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It is unacceptable that
Eric Pickles feels he can just deflect questions directly posed
to him onto another department."
"I quoted him specifically and expected answers on matters
that could see our libraries lost or saved. To show him just how
serious I am about this matter, I have brought my letter to him
directly, and to let him know I will not just let this go, but
keep pestering him until he answers those questions."
In his letter, Cllr Leach claimed that councils have failed to
share management functions and he highlighted excessive salaries
and unneccesary duplication which he says have resulted in money
being spent which could be used to keep Highbridge library open.
He points out that this goes against Government guidelines and
he called on Mr Pickles to respond to the points made. He later
met with Tessa Munt, where they discussed the potential to ask
Mr Pickles a question in Parliament regarding the matter. "I
look forward to his response, and hope for a positive outcome,"
Cllr Joe Leach is pictured outside Eland House, the HQ for
the Department for Communities and Local Government, in London