Save Doncaster Libraries is finally able to reveal the results of some weeks of negotiation, discussion and research, to reveal that we will be fully supporting LEGAL ACTION against Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council regarding the actions they have undertaken against their public library service.
SDL has never said the public library service was perfect, we acknowledged improvements and changes were necessary. However we dispute this meant wholesale closure of Denaby and Carcroft and vehemently decry the change to Community Libraries of 12 others, whereby communities were forced to volunteer or lose them (closure by stealth). Moreover we believe the council have been detrimental in their statutory duties to properly consult throughout the 18 months of the process so far and remain disgusted that, at no point, have alternatives even been considered despite being proposed by ourselves and the Labour Group (we remain, however, apolitical). For many months we have been warning the Mayor and his Cabinet that they were leaving themselves wide open to Legal Action, but they chose, at all stages, to ignore us.
The Legal Action has now been started. Public Interest Lawyers, on behalf of a local resident, are calling for a Judicial Review to stop any further unnecessary closures.
To support this Doncaster resident Save Doncaster Libraries are urgently asking for financial support to fund the case.
The Claimant is being partly funded by the Legal Services Commission. However, because the case can benefit a large number of people, the Legal Services Commission is requiring that a portion of the legal costs is provided by the community. The view taken by the Legal Services Commission is that part of the claim ought to be funded by the large number of people that it can benefit. SDL needs your help to raise that money.
Any donation, no matter how small, can be managed by contacting SDL treasurer John Sheppard, email address firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone 07951382703, or by contacting the blog author (see contact link above) for discussion of your preferred method. Please note that if donating by cheque it should be made out to ‘Save Our Libraries’.
SDL will be examining all potential funding avenues, in order that we can make a success of this action, and ensure the Council look after their library service, and indeed do not attempt to destroy any other service in such a manner again. The Council need to be called to account, to address their responsibilities and act appropriately. SDL is delighted to support the local resident in the fight to ensure residents are heard and that the Cabinet and Council realise they cannot simply dictate and ride roughshod over the wishes of the 15000 (and more) Doncaster residents who signed the Save Our Libraries petition.