Sunday 19 February 2012

Jeremy Hunt rejects Brent libraries judicial review

Legal advisers at the Department of Culture Media and Sport have comprehensively rejected the request for a Judicial Review of the Brent library closures and the complaint that the department's response has been tardy.

In their letter the Treasury Solicitor Legal Advises say:
(The secretary of State) is minded to conclude in all the circumstances that there is no good reason for an inquiry; and that the implementation of these plans will not place Brent in breach of its section 7 duty. The following matters seem to him at present particularly to support that conclusion:
i) The planned proposals are based on a comprehensive library service review. The manner in which the decision was taken was assiduous in its consideration of all the various interests at play. It was, as the Courts have now confirmed, lawfully taken
ii ) Brent have taken the approach of modernising their library service by concentrating resources on what it judges to be the best located and most used libraries. The libraries that will remain open will afford wide accessibility.
iii) Increased opening hours will operate at some of the facilities that Brent intends to retain.
iv)Improvements will be made to the outreach and home delivery services.
v) Library book stock (including e books and audio downloads) is set to expand.
 Margaret Bailey, who had lodged the claim for a judicial review, is given 14 days to make representations on this 'minded to' decision. The letter was dated February 14th Clearly this is a setback to Margaret and other library campaigners who have pursued the issue with such commitment, imagination and vigour. I can only express my admiration for their determination and wish them well as they consider what to do next.
The DCMS motto is 'improving the quality of life for all'...

Full copy of letter HERE

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