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Carol Buck loses Doncaster library funding appeal

Peter Davies

Peter Davies

A disabled Doncaster woman has lost her appeal against an elected mayor over cuts to library funding.

The appeal court backed last year’s High Court rejection of a challenge by Carol Buck against Doncaster’s then English Democrat mayor Peter Davies.

Ms Buck claimed Mr Davies unlawfully overruled councillors when they voted to change his budget to save two threatened libraries.

Three court of appeal judges supported the High Court’s earlier ruling.

A hearing last year was told Mr Davies and his executive cabinet decided in November 2011 to close two libraries, with 12 more to be run entirely by volunteers.

The full council voted on an amendment to allocate some of the council’s budget to put paid staff into the affected libraries.

Peter Davies, then mayor of Doncaster, was found to have acted “properly and lawfully”.

Forty-three councillors voted in support of the amendment, with six councillors voting against and three abstaining.

But Mr Davies said he was not going to change the budget despite the outcome of the vote.

Ms Buck took legal action last year claiming Mr Davies, who is no longer mayor of Doncaster, had acted unlawfully by refusing to implement the amendment.

She argued that once the money had been allocated by the full council the mayor was “obliged” to spend the money for “the purposes mentioned in the amendment”.

Lord Dyson rejected her appeal but said the case had “raised important issues” over the division of powers between a directly elected executive and the full council of a local authority.

 

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