The row over Tory plans to shove around 30 libraries into the hands of volunteer groups hotted up yesterday with Labour claiming a disgraceful Conservative “con-trick” had been exposed in a new report.
Deeping St James county councillor Phil Dilks, Labour’s shadow executive member for libraries, said a damning council audit report revealed the Tories plotted to close libraries while promising in their election manifesto to extend library opening hours.
He also accused the ruling Conservatives of delaying publication of their controversial plans until a month after the election.
Coun Dilks said: “Had they been honest and revealed their draconian plan before the elections, they know they would not have been able to cling on to power.”
Executive member for libraries, Coun Nick Worth, countered: “We made it clear in late 2011/early 2012 that £2m would have to be saved within the library service. This proposal was included in the budget agreed by full council just before the county elections, and the Labour group did not oppose it.”
He said the council ran volunteer pilot projects and it was right to wait for the outcome of those before pressing ahead.