Lincolnshire library cuts in High Court once more

Save Lincolnshire Libraries campaigners celebrate winning their judicial review at the High Court in London EMN-140717-120412001
Save Lincolnshire Libraries campaigners celebrate winning their judicial review at the High Court in London EMN-140717-120412001

Lincolnshire County Council will again have to defend its library cuts in court next week in a judicial review brought by campaigners.

Lincoln resident Simon Draper, on behalf of Save Lincolnshire Libraries, will challenge the authority’s decision to withdraw funding from 32 of its 47 libraries at the High Court on Tuesday and Wednesday.

One of those to lose its funding was Deepings Library in Market Deeping. The council wants volunteers to take over such libraries in the place of paid staff.

The council was forced to restart its consultation process on changes to the library service after a legal challenge from Mr Draper.

This week Labour county councillor John Hough, speaking on behalf of campaigners, said” “We appeal to the county council even at this late hour to discuss with Simon Draper and Save Lincolnshire Libraries a way out of legal proceedings that are costly and unnecessary.

“Despite repeated attempts to get the council to come to the table to discuss the issues they have refused to engage with the people of Lincolnshire on finding a way forward for the library service that offers an alternative to closure or to withdrawing valued and experienced staff from the existing libraries.”

The council’s executive member for libraries Nick Worth (Con) said the council had prepared “the strongest possible defence.”

He added: “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.”