Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Brent Libraries appeal fails

Attempts to prevent Brent Council from closing six libraries in north-west London have failed at the High Court. The libraries were earmarked for closure in a bid to save £104 million. The BBC has the full story at www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-16251528.

(With thanks to @emmajolly and @anniemcc1 via Twitter)

UPDATE: Thanks to Emma Jolly and Alan Templeton for the following update:

Library campaigners pursue Supreme Court appeal 

Campaigners seeking to halt the closure plans for half of Brent’s public libraries suffered a setback today when the Court of Appeal rejected their appeal against refusal of their judicial review claim. The campaigners are considering pursuing an appeal to the Supreme Court. It represents the first opportunity for the highest UK court to consider both the equality duties at the heart of their case and the legality of large-scale public library closures. The campaigners’ solicitor, John Halford, of Bindmans LLP said today: “Today’s Court of Appeal ruling is very difficult to reconcile with what Parliament intended when it enacted the equality duty that obliges Brent, and all other local authorities, to properly grapple with the impact withdrawal of local services of this kind has on communities. The Court of Appeal appears to accept that there is a risk of indirect discrimination against significant numbers of people in Brent resulting from its plans to impose devastating cuts on local library services, but it has excused the Council from properly taking that risk into account before it decides to make those cuts. Our position is that this is simply wrong in principle. If the Supreme Court is willing to hear this case, we anticipate the outcome being very different.”


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