VentnorBlog has been sent the legal advice from Davina Fiore,
Head who oversees legal at the Isle of Wight council (in her role as Director of Corporate Services), on the council’s plan to close Island libraries (thanks to those who sent it to us).
It’s relevant to the legal challenge initiated against the Isle of Wight council and the council’s subsequent response.
Here’s the contents of it in full …
I have been involved with the libraries review, and the proposed options and the need for consultation set out in the report take into account the factors listed in this letter are set out and considered in the delegated decision report.
I am satisfied that we are acting in accordance with our statutory duties – we do need to balance them all, so the one in relation to providing a comprehensive and efficient library service and the one requiring you to pass a balanced budget!
To have on record that you considered this letter at this stage, I suggest that either you or the Deputy Leader make reference to this letter when presenting the report tomorrow night, and it can then be mentioned in the minutes.
Is there more?
What’s not clear is that if this is the full extent of the advice that Davina has given on the libraries.
Her saying, “I am satisfied that we are acting in accordance with our statutory duties,” doesn’t give any citations to what lead her to the being satisfied.
We’ll ask the council.
What led to this?
Davina’s email was prompted by council leader David Pugh writing on 4th December 2010 to senior officers involved with the libraries, copying Davina, “It would be helpful if we would demonstrate that we are taking this account, either on Tuesday or in the subsequent delegated decisions paper.”
The day before Ed Vaizey MP had written to council leaders about the libraries and local council’s responsibility under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 to provide a ‘comprehensive and efficient’ library service.