A judicial review has firmly quashed plans for library cuts in the county, which has good implications for all us campaigning to keep our libraries open.
Lincolnshire County Council had planned (much like Devon County Council) to pass 30 libraries over to volunteers and community groups, with only 15 larger “library hubs” still staffed by the council. It was contested by Library Campaigners on these four grounds:
* That the consultation held on the proposed library cuts was unlawful, as a decision had already been taken.
* That the council failed to ensure that harm caused by their decision would be prevented, as required by the Equality Act.
* That the council failed to properly consider a bid to run the service from not-for-profit Greenwich Leisure Limited.
* That if the cuts go ahead, the county’s library service will no longer be comprehensive and efficient, breaching statutory requirements.
We hope this court decision makes all the other councils trying to cut library services around the country nervous indeed, particular as it follows Somerset’s success in stopping cuts through legal action too.
The Bookseller has a good article on the decision here.
The art above is by Maurice Sendak (1928-2012)