Question: You’re a council caught closing a local library without bothering to tell the community who use it, all to save £70,000. The governments audit commission savages your actions, the lawyers point out it breaks legal guidelines, local residents mount open air libraries in protest and the scrutiny committee gives you 6 months to consult the community.
A: Apologise profusely while speedily conducting a consultation with simple no-nonsense questions like… oh let me think… how about… “Do you want St James Street Library reopened?” or even “How often did you use St. James St Library“?
B: Spend months avoiding any form of consultation, then “forget” to deliver the questionnaire to many residents blaming “heavy rain”.
Fail to mention the library you’ve been told to consult about anywhere on the consultation form, and to put the cherry on top, give people 1 week to post it back.
Yes you’ve guessed it, the answers B.
Welcome to consulting the community, Waltham Forest Council style.
If you’re a resident lucky enough to have received a form, we’d urge you to get it back before the ludicrously short deadline (18th July).
The people from the St. James Street Library campaign also suggest that people who feel strongly about the library should add their own additional comments to the questionnaire clearly stating their views on the Library. You could also add something along the lines of “Please ensure you take all my additional comments into account and include them in the analysis of this consultation“.
For details of exactly how they filled in their form visit the St James Street Library Campaign website.
Visit this entry in the Waltham Forest Guardians new blogs section for another amusing response to the councils sham consultation.
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