You may have wondered why I haven't got back to you about Burgess Hill Library. The truth is I have been waiting for something to happen. But I am being met with silence.
Following Cllr Jones’s comments about the temporary library becoming permanent even though the decision had not been taken and the County Council was still in negotiations with New River Retail, I approached council officers and the Conservative leader of the County Council with questions.
The council leader never got back to me.
Officers said they would schedule a briefing meeting for local county councillors. It was scheduled for Easter - a time my calendar showed I was on holiday. I was told they couldn't rearrange because other critical people could only make that date. Despite being the councillor raising the most questions about the library, my presence wasn't deemed essential. I was told I could send in some questions instead.
I made it clear that wasn't good enough and that I should be able to attend to have a proper conversation with officers and other councillors and get answers to all of my and your questions. When I chased the lack of a. new date, I was told it wouldn’t go ahead as the Conservative leader of the council had now taken over the negotiations.
At a council meeting on 5th April, in response to a question on the library, the Conservative leader reassured us that Burgess Hill would have a well-stocked library for residents to use. Now, call me a cynic, but this doesn't sound like the state of the art library with a Changing Places facility that was promised, does it?
The leader promised councillors an update “in a couple of weeks”. I emailed her this week, nearly 3 weeks later, to ask her for this update.
Once again, I have received no response.
The County Council has been put in a difficult position by one of its own Conservative councillors, but this silence is completely unacceptable. I was elected as your councillor, as your representative, yet I am being stonewalled by the Conservative-led council that I sit on.
I will continue to ask questions and push for an answer. Am I cynical to think that we may get an answer before elections on Thursday if it is a good one, but not until after Thursday if it is bad?