Legal challenge to county council’s library cutbacks

Lincolnshire Libraries Protest march
Lincolnshire Libraries Protest march

Papers have been sent to Lincolnshire County Council setting out details of a request for a Judicial Review over library closures.

The claim has been filed in the High Court, London, and the request has been issued by Public Interest Lawyers, of Eight Hylton Street, Birmingham, on behalf of Simon Draper of Lincoln.

The review is asking for the court to issue an order quashing the council’s decision to drastically reduce its library provisions across the county - a decision which was made in December.

LCC made the controversial decision to reduce library open hours and staffing across the county in a bid to save just under £2million from its budget.

According to the Save Lincolnshire Libraries campaign group the legal papers set out a number of grounds for the request.

The first is that the consultation preceding the decision was unlawful as SLL believe the decision had been already taken before the consultation began.

The second reason presented by SLL is that “the council failed to take due regard of its obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty as required by the Equality Act 2010.

“The council had already identified that disabled people, older people, young people and women (particularly mothers of young children), were going to be hit by their plans but failed to ensure that the harm this was going to cause was prevented.”

It is also claimed that the council failed to properly consider Greenwich Leisure’s proposal to take over the library service and maintaining the network. The fourth ground is that the library service will no longer be comprehensive and efficient.