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Library campaigners face new hurdles

 

Library campaigners have called government plans to scrap equalities assessments and limit judicial reviews "devastating".

In a speech at the CBI on Monday (19th November), Prime Minister David Cameron outlined his intention to make judicial reviews harder to access, describing many as "completely pointless", and saying the time limit to bring cases should be reduced while cost is increased "so people think twice about time-wasting".

Many library campaigns designed to stop local authorities proceeding with cuts are based on judicial review on equalities grounds, such as the one brought by Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries which successfully limited the county council's plans.

Lauren Smith of Voices for the Library said: “It’s absolutely devastating. They are making it very difficult even to respond to their plans, but there are so many decisions that have been put on hold because campaigners have been able to use these methods.

"One of the best defences of libraries is showing how library closures have a big detriment on disabled people, elderly people and other vulnerable groups, and if equality assessments go, we will lose that defence."

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Judicial reviews are a hugely important part of the checks and balances in this democracy without a written constitution.

A couple of years ago I did some reading-up on Cameron, his joining the Conservative Party, his days at Oxbridge. I remember reading a piece by one of his tutors. The tutor had quite a good opinion of Cameron, until one day he wrote an essay on democracy.

Basically Young David was already well tuned into the routes to power, and power politics in general.However, when it came to some of the most basic tenets of democracy, Mr Cameron had little insight or appreciation.

The Etonian background I expect.

AP

Judicial reviews are a hugely important part of the checks and balances in this democracy without a written constitution.

A couple of years ago I did some reading-up on Cameron, his joining the Conservative Party, his days at Oxbridge. I remember reading a piece by one of his tutors. The tutor had quite a good opinion of Cameron, until one day he wrote an essay on democracy.

Basically Young David was already well tuned into the routes to power, and power politics in general.However, when it came to some of the most basic tenets of democracy, Mr Cameron had little insight or appreciation.

The Etonian background I expect.

AP