The Friends of Deeping Library are absolutely delighted that the Judicial Review has agreed with the arguments all campaigners have been putting forward against the mass closure of Lincolnshire’s libraries.
The judge ruled the consultation was illegal because the result had plainly already been decided and the refusal to consider Greenwich Leisure’s proposal to save the libraries was also illegal. Campaigners had been saying this for months but Lincolnshire County Council had refused to accept this and went ahead regardless (wasting £160,000 of our money in the process).
They now know they were wrong.
As a result of this wrong-headed and illegal process many library staff have lost their jobs or are under notice of redundancy. If Lincolnshire had undertaken a genuine consultation, resulting in a different decision, they may well have had the opportunity to retain their posts.
One wonders if a redundancy taken as a result of an illegal process is itself illegal? If so, the ramifications of this may well have further to spread.
This sad fiasco has at least had the effect of showing our executive members that Lincolnshire is not their personal fiefdom. Now we have to await the County’s response to their defeat.
Will they restart the whole process again? Will they accept Greenwich’s proposals? Will they come to the same conclusion in the end? We just don’t know at the moment but, regardless of what happens next, FoDL will continue to support our much-loved library in any way that we need to.
FoDL would like to give grateful thanks to everyone who has supported us through this battle; it has been enormously cheering to know how much our library is valued and wanted. Long may it continue to be!
Chairwoman, The Friends of Deeping Library