Legal action launched on Northamptonshire library closures

Legal action launched on Northamptonshire library closures

The 21 Northamptonshire libraries at risk of closure have started legal action against the council.

New plans, voted through by the council in February, will see the county’s eight large and seven medium libraries retained, and the 21 smaller libraries closed as council-run libraries. However, the decision has been met with much challenge – libraries body CILIP branded the plans “careless and unreasonable”, while Northampton resident and "Watchmen" creator Alan Moore said they were "completely unacceptable and completely monstrous”.

Now, two separate legal actions have been lodged calling into question the validity of the authority's consultation. Law firm Watkins & Gunn, acting for 20 of the under-threat libraries, lodged an application for a judicial review on Friday and a separate legal action has been made by Desborough Library. A child and her family have also instructed law firm Irwin Mitchell to issue an application for a judicial review and an urgent hearing, reported the Guardian.

A council spokesman told the BBC the authority would be defending the legal challenges.

Michael Imperato, from Watkins & Gunn, said any judicial review could take place "in a matter of weeks or a month or two".

The government is currently investigating the closures.