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Magna Carta and Lincolnshire Libraries

Magna_charta_cum_statutis_angliae_p1On 15th June, 1215, in a meadow at Runnymede, King John made the binding agreement of the Magna Carta. It’s 800 years since this historic event, where twenty five barons demanded their rights.

What Magna Carta represents is freedoms. The demand to be heard, human rights and democracy. That’s why this document is important. It is what it represents. Not about the aristocracy or a King. Its symbolism is still important in the 21st century as it was in the 13th century.

Lincoln and Lincolnshire are important in the development of democracy. The Magna Carta & Charter of the Forest are held in Lincoln ( at the moment the Lincoln Magna Carta is visiting the Library of Congress in the USA – such is its importance to the American constitution ). The Magna Carta will arrive back soon to be housed in a new facility in Lincoln Castle which has cost £22 million. There will be many events held in the City to celebrate its anniversary.

Yet while we honour this document of freedoms and human rights. Lincolnshire County Council has decided that it will not listen to the rights of the people of Lincolnshire in regard to their vital Library services. There is a connection between the Magna Carta and our Libraries. A Library represents freedoms, freedom to access free books, education and knowledge. Magna Carta and Libraries are intertwined in what they represent.

Then why should Lincolnshire County Council on one hand celebrate the Magna Carta, and yes it should be celebrated, but on the other hand deny its people access to the freedoms that the Magna Carta represents.

This is wrong. Libraries are part of our beautiful democracy, just as the Magna Carta is part of this democracy.

Yet time and time again the voices of the people of Lincolnshire are not being heard. This goes against all that we believe is representative of a document called Magna Carta.

Giving opportunity and access to freedoms is what was challenged 800 years ago. And in 2015 those that believe in freedoms and rights should continue to challenge the decisions of the Council which should listen to the views of the people it is mean’t to represent.


And just to add that in 1316 – Lincoln held a parliament that allowed petitioning of the King in a Chamber. Today in 2015 Lincolnshire County Council has denied debate in the Chamber when handing in a petition over 3,500. Once again denying democracy and thus denying history.

In order to retain the spirit of Magna Carta in our wonderful City and County – the Lincolnshire County Council should re consider its decisions on Libraries and petitioning.

Barons have been replaced by people who treasure their rights, their freedoms and will continue to fight injustice.

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