Another big library bill for council tax payers?

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Council taxpayers in Lincolnshire could be hit by another whopping bill if a judge grants a second judicial review over proposed changes to the county’s library service.

Lincolnshire County Council spent more than £100,000 at a judicial review trying to defend its plans to shove 30 libraries into the hands of volunteers while keeping 15 core libraries.

The council now intends to keep that model of service while having it run by an outside organisation instead of keeping it “in house”.

Council executive member for libraries Coun Nick Worth said: “We’ve been notified that the decision on whether or not to grant permission for a judicial review will be taken in court at an oral hearing before a judge on 21 and 22 July.

“If permission is not granted, the claim will fail. If permission is granted, the court will proceed immediately at the same hearing to decide whether the challenge has any merit.

“We are now preparing the strongest possible defence. Sadly, this will mean further – and, in our opinion, unnecessary – expense for taxpayers.

“In the meantime, we’ll continue to implement our plans to create a new-look library service, including working with local groups to develop the network of community hubs.

“We’ll do so in the firm belief that our plans are good for taxpayers, good for library users and good for local communities.”