Campaigners fight plan to close most of Lincolnshire’s libraries

Protest against the proposed closure of Deepings Library in September 2013. Photo: Jonathan Smith
Protest against the proposed closure of Deepings Library in September 2013. Photo: Jonathan Smith
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Campaigners fighting Lincolnshire County Council’s plan to close most of its libraries in the county have taken their case to the High Court.

Save Lincolnshire Libraries has requested a judicial review into Lincolnshire County Council’s plans to close 32 of its 47 libraries.

The council decided to make the cuts to its service in an attempt to save £2 million.

The claim was filed in the High Court in London on January 29. The review asks the court to issue an order quashing the council’s decision to reduce its library provision.

Among the libraries due to close is Deepings Library, in High Street, Market Deeping.

Save Lincolnshire Libraries has come up with four reasons for the judicial review to take place.

First, it claims the consultation that preceded the decision was unlawful.

Second, it claims the council failed to take due regard of its obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty as required by the Equality Act 2010.

Third, it claims the council failed to properly consider the proposal by charitable social enterprise Greenwich Leisure to take over the whole library service.

And fourth it claims that if the cuts go ahead, the county council library service will no longer be comprehensive and efficient, as required by the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.

The request for a judicial review was issued by Public Interest Lawyers, of Eight Hylton Street, Birmingham, on behalf of Simon Draper of Lincoln.

Last month campaigners in the Deepings put forward an expression of interest to run their library, led by Market Deeping Town Council and Deeping St James Parish Council.

The councils’ officials claim they felt forced into putting in the expression of interest and only did so to keep the libraries open while options were considered.

Related:

Libraries consultation - www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/

Save Lincolnshire Libraries website

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