7 May 2011

Legal Challenge : Cuts to Gloucestershire's Public Libraries

This last week lawyers acting for a client in Gloucestershire have launched a judicial review at the high court, challenging Gloucestershire County Council's plans for severe reductions to the county's public library service. Public Interest Lawyers have released this statement here.

Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries Chair, Johanna Anderson, released a press release saying; "From the start of this campaign we have warned Gloucestershire County Council that their plans for our library service may place them in breach of the law. They have chosen to ignore this, along with many other complaints from library users, a 15,000-signature county-wide petition, numerous petitions from local communities, and a day of protest where hundreds attended family events held at every library in the county. We hope that the launch of this judicial review at last causes them to pause and rethink their plans, instead of continuing on this path of destruction of our public library service.
It is astonishing that a Council which claims it is too cash strapped to maintain our public library service, would even consider using thousands of pounds of Gloucestershire tax payers' money to attempt to defend itself against these charges, money that could fund a thorough review of these plans, and the maintenance and improvement of our public libraries."

Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries are not the claimant in the judicial review, and are therefore unable to comment further on the case itself. There are however 3 days left to listen to the BBC report re libraries here.

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