Lincolnshire library plans 'perverse' High Court told

Lincolnshire library plans 'perverse' High Court told

Lincolnshire library campaigners have called the council’s aim of transforming its library service “perverse” at the High Court.

Lincoln resident Simon Draper, acting on behalf of Save Lincolnshire Libraries, was in the High Court yesterday and today (21st-22nd July) with his counsel Fionnuala McCredie QC, to fight the council’s decision to stop funding 32 of its 47 libraries.

He had already won a court victory last year, when the High Court quashed the plans for library cuts.. However, Draper launched a new offensive this year because the council proposed the same cuts in January.

According to the Lincolnshire Echo, McCredie told the court that the plans were perverse and that the council should go back to the drawing board. McCredie said the council's plan was to slash the number of libraries, reduce their opening hours and replace many permanent staff with volunteers.

She said the council was refusing to accept any other plan other than its own and was losing the opportunity to "re-imagine" the county's library service. Alternative plans put forward by not-for-profit company Greenwich Leisure and Northamptonshire County Council had been ignored, she added.

She accused the council of failing to obtain "best value" for money and "reaching such a poor decision as to be perverse and obtuse".

In response, Nigel Giffin QC, speaking for Lincolnshire Council, said the reorganisation scheme was already well advanced and many members of library staff had been handed their redundancy notices.

A decision is expected before the end of the month.