Lincolnshire library campaigners file for judicial review

Lincolnshire library campaigners file for judicial review

Library campaigners in Lincolnshire have mounted a legal challenge against the county council's planned library closures.
 
A request for judicial review has been filed in the High Court in London, issued by Public Interest Lawyers on behalf of Lincoln resident Simon Draper.
 
The review asks for the High Court to quash the council's decision to reduce its library provision across the county, made in December last year, which will see only 15 libraries kept open by the council, with dozens handed to community groups or closed.
 
Among the reasons it gives for overturning the decision is the campaigners' belief that the council had made its decision before consulting on the closures, as well as a claim that it had not met its obligations under the Equality Act 2010, and that the council had not properly considered an offer from charitable social enterprise Greenwich Leisure to take over the service.
 
The final ground for complaint is that the closures would mean the service is no longer "comprehensive and efficient", as required by law under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.
 
Draper said: "Libraries are not just for collecting and returning books, they are part of the community and help cement it together."
 
Paul Heron from Public Interest Lawyers said: "Great credit should go to Simon for caring enough about the library service in Lincolnshire to bring this legal action. We hope to convince the court that as a matter of law the county council have not acted correctly in the way they have conducted the consultation process and ignored the wishes of people in Lincolnshire. I would urge all to once again lobby their councillors and ask them not to make these cuts which will devastate the library service if they are carried out."