Doncaster campaigners lose ruling on closures

Doncaster campaigners lose ruling on closures

Campaigners in Doncaster have lost their fight to re-open two libraries after a judge's ruling went against them.

Activists had sparked a judicial review into Doncaster Council’s decision not to put money into re-opening Carcroft and Denaby libraries. A full council vote had approved putting nearly £400,000 into the libraries, which the mayor, Peter Davies, then overruled.

Today at Leeds Combined Court, a judge ruled in favour of Davies, and said that the full council did not have the power to give directions to Davies and his cabinet, and that he acted properly and in accordance with legal advice.

Speaking after the decision, Davies was quoted in the Doncaster Free Press as saying: "I am of course pleased with the outcome. This was never a decision that was taken lightly but it was necessary in order to make the required savings.

“Over 300 volunteers have signed up and pledged their time to volunteer in our libraries for free and keep them open for the communities. I am delighted with the success they have become.”

Davies also expressed anger that the cost of the judicial review had cost Doncaster taxpayers “over £30,000”.

John Sheppard, group treasurer of the Save Doncaster Libraries group which has raised thousands of pounds to fund this and other legal battles, was quoted in the same paper saying: “It’s hardly a victory for the council when the community is losing out. We are disappointed and we are planning a meeting tonight to discuss the details of the decision.”