Labour stick two fingers up at residents and councillors over Stockport Central Library closure

The Labour Cabinet’s unpopular decision to remove library facilities from the Carnegie-endowment Stockport Central Library was opposed by a majority of councillors in a debate and vote at the last Full Council meeting. Despite being asked to ‘think again’ following this unprecedented debate and vote, the Cabinet decided on Tuesday night to press ahead with their original plan.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Lou Ankers, shadow cabinet member with responsibilities including libraries, said: “It is frankly astonishing that, despite overwhelming public opposition demonstrated through two petitions and the council’s own consultation, and despite a clear, cross-party majority of councillors voting against the removal of library services from Stockport’s Central Library, the cabinet have chosen to just ignore everyone and go ahead with their original decision.

“Recent documents released under the Freedom of Information Act following intervention by the Information Commissioner show that it was the Labour Cabinet’s plan all along to relocate the central library. This is something they tried to hide but which we uncovered during the scrutiny process, leading to our motion back in October 2020 calling for a full public consultation.

“Ignoring the huge opposition to this plan makes a mockery of our process of pre-decision scrutiny in Stockport, and shows once again that Labour do not listen.”

Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Lib Dems at Stockport Town Hall, added: “Labour have simply stuck two fingers up at all the residents, civic groups and councillors who have opposed this plan for many months. The little trust residents and councillors had in this administration has evaporated.

“Make no mistake, though – we are only here because Conservative councillors propped up this administration last May, despite them no longer being the largest party on the council.”

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