18 December 2017 UPDATE
Minister is "Minded not to intervene". We say he is wrong...
Just before schools closed for the holidays, we received notice that the Minister had reached a preliminary decision on our complaint and is "minded not to intervene". He set a deadline for further evidence of 5pm on Friday 2nd February - not leaving much time for contacting those who might want to reply - and refused our request for an extension. HOWEVER THE CAMPAIGN CONTINUES.
The Minister’s preliminary decision letter (available on the Department for Culture’s website), fails to grapple with the serious problems of implementation affecting many library users and the long-term implications for children's literacy and educational attainment. According to Barnet Council figures, only around 17,000 eligible users have registered for a pin code (compare this figure with the over 187,000 borrowers in Barnet in 2016-17). Children can only visit during unstaffed hours with a registered adult so most children are shut out of their local library most of the time.
Evidence from schools and organisations working with older people and those with disabilities will be crucial in helping the Minister to determine whether or not the Barnet Library service meets the legal duty to be “comprehensive and efficient”. Your assistance could make a crucial difference so please write now to
firstname.lastname@example.org marking your email "Barnet library services - Minded to Representations".