Donations to the Save Lincolnshire Libraries Judicial Review Fund have just passed the £2000 mark, with a target of £7500 needed by the first week of July when the case is heard in the high court.
Alongside the £1000 donation from The Library Campaign already reported, people from across the UK and the rest of the world have been making use of the new online donation facility (launched on May 29) with PayPal donations nudging £500. People from Oxford, Brecon, Devon, Tyne and Wear, Durham, Reigate, Glasgow, York and Norwich have given to the cause this way, as well as international donations from Australia and the USA.
“I’m amazed to report the donation page has had over 500 hits in five days ,” commented campaigner Angela Montague, who manages much of the online work or the campaign. “I must thank celebrities like Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Chris Addison, Johnny Vegas, Ian Rankin, Michael Rosen and Malorie Blackman for sharing the link on Twitter, giving it much more publicity that we could on our own.
“We are also talking to other organisations with an interest in libraries and literacy, so could be reporting more major donations soon. There has also been a significant donation from Professor Mary Beard, who has supported the campaign for many months now.”
Other funds have come in from more traditional fundraising methods including book stalls and plant stalls as well as a ‘whip round’ on the campaign’s lobbying coach trip to the Houses of Parliament last month.
And more events are planned, notably the man at the centre of the judicial review, Simon Draper, being sponsored for cutting off his pony tail at his birthday and anniversary party on June 14th, and he’ll been donating the snipped hair to Little Princess Trust, a charity to provide real hair wigs for children suffering hair loss.
“If you care about libraries, please donate, no matter how small you think your donation is,” added Angela. “This judicial review includes the challenge that the reduced service will not meet the provisions of the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act. If we can win on this point, there are national implications for other councils, so the Lincolnshire campaign is standing up for all libraries.”
Online donations can be made at https://savelincslibraries.org.uk/donate/
For postal donations, please send cheques made payable to Save Lincolnshire Libraries to: The Farmhouse, East Row, South Somercotes, Louth, LN11 7BN.
In more detail:
The fund has been set up by campaigners to help Lincoln resident Simon Draper in his challenge of Lincolnshire County Council’s proposals to cut the library service by £2 million. The challenge will take place with a Judicial Review in the High Court in London on July 8 and 9. Though Simon Draper is eligible for full legal aid, there is an expectation by the Legal Aid Agency that some funds are raised as part of an overall contribution to the costs of running the case and the campaign seeks to raise a potential contribution of upwards of £7500.00. Excess money raised will be donated to organisations supporting reading, books or public libraries.
When the Judicial Review takes place in July, the volunteers behind this campaign will have been working for just over a year to stop the county council’s plans, which are:
1. Closure of 30 libraries unless volunteers could be found to run them, with only extremely limited professional input
2. A cut in opening hours for nearly all the remaining 15 libraries, including reducing the only library left in the university city of Lincoln to 50 hours a week.
3. A much reduced mobile service with over 100 stops disappearing and no service for small and isolated villages
4. The loss of an estimated 170 jobs
23,000 people signed petitions against the cuts. Only nine people (the council executive) made the decision to proceed with the cuts.
The grounds for the Judicial Review are
The decision had been made before the consultation
Not enough consideration was given to the needs of vulnerable people who would be affected by this decision
Not enough consideration was given to the bid to run some libraries by Greenwich Leisure
The future library service would not be ‘comprehensive and efficient’ as required by the 1964 Act of Parliament. This point last is crucial in protecting all libraries in the UK.
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