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Councillor claims she is asked to leave Stafford library while collecting petition signatures

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: January 07, 2014

By Sarah Marshall

1449328-TM_SNCL301213 Shire Hall-06[1]

1449328-TM_SNCL301213 Shire Hall-06[1]

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AN ANGRY councillor fighting to save Stafford’s historic Shire Hall says she was asked to leave and stand away from the building while collecting signatures for a petition.

County Councillor Maureen Compton says she was outraged by her treatment at the Market Square site.

The county council has been approached and is set to comment in response later today.

Councillor Compton is heading up a campaign against the closure of the building.

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A proposal has been put forward by the county council to potentially close the site and move the library into Staffordshire Place.

Council chiefs have already banned petitions being placed in the library or gallery.

But Councillor Compton offered users of the building the opportunity to sign a petition when she was required to leave the premises by a member of library staff acting under instructions from the council’s commissioner for tourism, leisure and culture and the libraries’ district manager.

She says she was advised she might do what she liked “on the street” but it would have to be beyond a lamppost some distance from the building.

She said: “As I was only standing beside the door in the entrance to the library, I was a little surprised to be told that I could not ask people to sign a petition there. “I was further asked to move some three feet from the entrance to the library. Passers-by were astonished by the move. Many people had come to the library especially to sign a petition and were quite amazed by the situation.

“Do we live in a democracy? It is ironic that anyone can use the library’s computer to sign an e-petition but cannot sign a paper petition unless it is three feet from the entrance.”

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