Attempts to prevent 12 staff from being made redundant to save just £41,000 were scuppered this week after the Conservatives voted  to get rid of the Schools Library Service.

During the debate on the cabinet decision at a scrutiny meeting on Wednesday 25th January, the Liberal Democrat group highlighted that the closure of the service had been agreed without any reference to the County’s  own Education and Skills Cabinet Panel, despite the service being used exclusively by Hertfordshire’s schools.

Lib Dem Councillor Allan Witherick, who had called for the redundancies to be reviewed, said afterwards:

‘The Conservative-run County Council maintain that they can’t continue a loss-making service, yet they don’t seem to have made any effort to promote it.  Instead, to save a comparatively tiny sum of money, they’ve decided to make a dozen people redundant and dispose of a service that a number of schools had found valuable.

‘We know schools found it valuable; otherwise, why else would they have been paying enough to cover what effectively amounts to the pay of 11 of the 12 staff?’

The vote was narrowly lost 4 to 6, with Labour failing to show up and a number of Conservatives showing indifference and abstaining.