Dear Kent County Council,
On 21 September 2020 you published an article on social media that said that you would be closing 66 libraries across Kent. This decision was made without public consultation and therefore is unlawful. It is important for all residents of Kent to have access to library services including internet access and books. Therefore I have several requests which I would like answers to, this is to support an open letter which I am writing to the DCSM.
1. How many library staff have left since March 2020?
2. Please provide all accessibility risk assessments which were created to support closing libraries and explain how you have mitigated against loneliness, digital exclusion, rural locations, people with disabilities.
3. How much money has been spent by KCC on libraries, registration and archives for April 2018-2019, April 2019-2020 and April 2020 to date.
4. Usage statistics for 2020 for all libraries.
5. Please provide information about what alternative decisions were considered and reasons why they were not used.
6. Please confirm whether the DCMS were informed about the decision to close 2 thirds of the county's public library access.
7. What are KCC doing to ensure that people who do not have access can continue to use their services.
Please can you respond as soon as possible.
Our reference: 16908398
Dear Mr Couchman-Sawyer
Thank you for your email which we received on 5 October 2020.
Kent County Council (KCC) acknowledges your request for information, which
we will consider under the relevant legislation (Freedom of Information
Act 2000 and/or Environmental Information Regulations 2004).
Assuming KCC holds this information, we will endeavour to supply the data
to you as soon as possible but no later than 2 November 2020 (20 working
days from date of receipt).
We will advise you as soon as possible if we do not hold this information
or if there are exemptions to be considered and/or any costs for providing
Although lockdown restrictions are starting to ease, Kent County Council
continues to face unprecedented challenges in delivering front line
services and we are continuing to prioritise our resources in dealing with
the pandemic. We take our statutory duties very seriously, however we ask
for your understanding in the event that we are unable to respond to your
request within the statutory timescale. Thank you for your co-operation in
Please quote our reference - 16908398 in any communication regarding this
Please see our Information Rights Privacy Notice for details of how we
process your personal data.
Information Access Officer
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