Campaigners lose judicial review into libraries

Scales of Justice
Scales of Justice

CAMPAIGNERS have lost a legal battle to reverse a decision to close two Doncaster libraries.

Doncaster Council has claimed victory in a judicial review - estimated to have cost ratepayers more than £30,000 - into a decision not to put cash into reopening closed libraries in Carcroft and Denaby.

But campaign group Save Doncaster Libaries has defended their decision to support to overturn the authority’s decision, saying that they were fighting for the democratic view.

Lawyers for a resident trying to fight the library closures had argued that the full council should take responsibility for setting the budget - and the decision not to put extra cash into the libraries should not have been overturned by elected mayor Peter Davies.

The authority has always stood by Mr Davies and said that he acted properly and in accordance with legal advice.

Speaking after the ruling, Mr Davies said: “I am of course pleased with the outcome. This was never a decision that was taken lightly but it was necessary in order to make the required savings. Over 300 volunteers have signed up and pledged their time to volunteer in our libraries for free and keep them open for the communities. I am delighted with the success they have become.

“This case should never have been taken to court and I am furious that this has now cost the taxpayers of Doncaster over £30,000. At a time of cutbacks, this is money that could have helped to save jobs.”

The Save Doncaster Libraries group has already raised thousands of pounds in community donations to help fund the legal battle, which was taken to the courts by a Doncaster resident.

John Sheppard, group treasurer, said: “It’s hardly a victory for the council when the community is losing out. We are disappointed and we are planning a meeting tonight to discuss the details of the decision.”