Unison seeking legal advice over Derby library closures

Unison seeking legal advice over Derby library closures

Trade union Unison is challenging Derby City Council's decision to stop running 10 libraries.

The union, which represents many of the 41 library employees whose jobs are threatened by the plans, has hinted that it is seeking legal advice to challenge the decision, and it is possible that this could lead to it seeking a judicial review, the Derby Telegraph has reported.

Nicole Berrisford, branch secretary of Unison Derby, said: “Locally, we are building a library campaign and consulting our members, who are clearly not happy about the proposals to make them redundant and replace them with volunteers. In addition, we will be seeking a legal opinion on the merits of the proposals.”

The council's chief legal adviser Janie Berry said she could not “offer a guarantee" that the changes to the libraries would stand the test of a review in the High Court. "It would be an expensive and costly process and, if it failed, the court could make the council suspend its actions or start the library review again", she said.

The council is seeking community groups to run 10 libraries in a bid to save more than £700,000 a year.

A council spokesperson said: “Derby City Council has, over the last two years, undertaken a robust and transparent review to determine the best way to deliver a sustainable, modern and quality library service. “It has been clear that regrettably there could be the potential for a reduction in the staffing resources required in the future. The council will follow the relevant procedures to ensure the employment rights of all staff affected by the proposals are fully adhered to.”