Lincolnshire County Council, under pressure from lawyers representing the applicant in the Judicial Review, has agreed not to go ahead with its plan to sell off or lease the existing libraries until the decision of the court is known.
The Judicial Review of the County Council decision to close libraries, get rid of over 100 mobile library stops and cut up to 170 jobs will now take place in the High Court in London on July 8 and 9.
The grounds for the Judicial Review include the possibly illegal nature of the consultation process as the decision had already been taken, the failure to deal with the harm caused to people under the Equalities Act, the decision not to properly consider the proposal from Greenwich Leisure under the Localism Act and the failure of the Council’s plan to provide a comprehensive public library service under the Libraries Act.
Simon Draper, the applicant in the Judicial Review, said “I welcome the decision of the County Council not to implement its plans to get rid of 30 libraries until the court decides.
“However I am very disappointed that it is still pressing ahead next week with its plans to get rid of jobs, to cut away the mobile library service from large numbers of villages in Lincolnshire and to slash the hours of the remaining libraries. Thousands of people are going to be losing their library service on the 6th of May. It is not good enough.”
Julie Harrison, spokesperson for Save Lincolnshire Libraries and former head teacher, said: “We welcome a date being set for the Judicial Review. The sooner the Court decides that the County Council has acted illegally and should be providing a comprehensive Library Service across the whole County the better.
“It is still not too late for the County to change its mind and stop its mindless destruction of the Library Service on May 6th.
“We appeal now for the County Council to see sense and stop cutting all this, before we lose the immensely important and valuable library service in Lincolnshire which had over five million interactions with the public in the last year.”
Read the Save Lincolnshire Libraries story so far here here https://savelincslibraries.org.uk/lobby4libraries/
Follow the campaign on Twitter here https://twitter.com/savelincslibs