Campaigners 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.
Town 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.”
“However, 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 unfavourable.”
“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.”
Somerset County Council recently confirmed that funding for the library would be withdrawn with effect from 1st October and the Town Council has been negotiating a deal with the County Council to ensure a library service is retained in Highbridge.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 reported earlier this month that the new working group had been set up to seek a solution.
Pictured: Top, Highbridge Library user Mike Long and Cllr Helen Groves