July 21, 2011
library campaigners welcome court ruling on closures
fighting to save Highbridge's library from closure have this week
welcomed the news that a judge has granted an injunction to postpone
library closures across Somerset.
The interim injunction - which was upheld by Lord Justice Beatson
at Birmingham Civil Justice Centre - means Somerset County Council
will have to postpone its planned cuts to library funding until
the outcome of a judicial review is announced this September.
The council said earlier this year that it wants to withdraw
funding for 11 libraries, including Highbridge's, but this led
to Public Interest Lawyers representing a number of campaigners
launching the legal challenge.
councillor Helen Groves, who is on the working group set up by
Burnham and Highbridge Town Council to save Highbridge Library,
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I am very pleased that the injunction
has been granted as this clearly prevents any pre-emptive action
to being taken prior to the outcome of the judicial review. That
is very positive news."
I do think it is wise to take an approach of hoping for the best
and preparing for the worst until such a time as we have the decision
of the review. With this in mind I think it is in the best interests
of all that we continue exploring what is possible in terms of
the future potential provision of a library were the decision
"It is my sincere hope the review will be positive for all
Somerset libraries. My personal view is that before cuts are made
to services such as libraries greater efforts should have been
made to eliminate waste and streamline costs of service delivery
across all departments."
County Council recently confirmed that funding for the library
would be withdrawn with effect from 1st October and the Town Council
has been negotiating a deal with the County Council to ensure
a library service is retained in Highbridge. Burnham-On-Sea.com
this month that the new working group had been set up to seek
Pictured: Top, Highbridge Library user Mike Long and Cllr