Union plans legal challenge on Greenwich libraries

A UNION is now considering legal action over Greenwich Council's decision to handover its libraries to a trust.

Their proposed challenge centres on cabinet member Councillor John Fahy's organisation Meridian Link, which he runs with Mark Sesnan, managing director of Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) - the group given control of the libraries.

During the cabinet's library vote this month, Cllr Fahy declared an interest and abstained from the debate and subsequent vote.

But the Unite union is asking why he did not do the same thing at a cabinet meeting in November when GLL was given control of leisure facilities and tasked with drawing up a plan for the libraries.

Branch secretary Onay Kasab said: "This latest revelation must now be the nail in the coffin for this proposal.

"The public don’t want it, library users don’t want it and the staff don’t want it."

Unite is concerned the library transfer may affect workers' pay, pricing and the facilities themselves but the council says it could mean service improvements.

The union, which claims it has 1,400 signatures against the plan, also insists there was a lack of proper consultation with only three public meetings, which they say were called at short notice, and no online survey.

Mr Kasab said: "The demand from the community is clear - no transfers, no privatisation, hands off our libraries."

Cllr Fahy told News Shopper Meridian Link was a charity developing education and sports opportunities in Ghana which he had been involved with for 22 years.

He said: "I took legal advice and acted accordingly. I am satisfied I have acted appropriately in all respects in relation to this matter."

News Shopper is awaiting a response from Greenwich Council

Comments (1)

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4:14pm Tue 28 Feb 12

pennywhen says...

why is it that these disisions are left to a single group who are sucking up to rulers .the libaries are public libraries; not council libraries,the public wish for the libraries to remain public not run by profit share investers, money grabers.the library staff are treated with utter contempt.councilthey are bullied by over payed council operatives.its a public library and the seem to want it to be kept public.and not private.how much more will the council sell off.hands off .ask the public who pay you....
why is it that these disisions are left to a single group who are sucking up to rulers .the libaries are public libraries; not council libraries,the public wish for the libraries to remain public not run by profit share investers, money grabers.the library staff are treated with utter contempt.councilthey are bullied by over payed council operatives.its a public library and the seem to want it to be kept public.and not private.how much more will the council sell off.hands off .ask the public who pay you.... pennywhen

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