Lincolnshire – a warning for Kent County Council

Congratulations to the Save Lincolnshire Libraries campaign who have won a judicial review over the council’s damaging plans for public libraries across the county. The grounds for the review are:

  1. that the consultation was unlawful as the decision had already been taken
  2. that the Council failed to ensure that the harm that was going to be caused by their decision was prevented, as required by the Equality Act
  3. that the Council failed to properly consider the proposal by Greenwich Leisure Limited ( a not for profit agency who had bid to run the library service). As a result the Council had failed in its duties under the Localism Act (1)
  4. that if the cuts go ahead Lincolnshire’s Library Service will no longer be comprehensive and efficient and therefore will breach the national requirements.

Kent County Council will, of course, need to pay particular attention to (1) not least because as yet there has been no consultation with the public regarding the council’s plans and yet the council had recently advertised a vacancy online (now withdrawn) asking for a candidate who will:

“…ensure the implementation and delivery of a trust model for Kent Libraries, Registration and Archives.”

It is hard to believe that such an advert could go out without senior authorisation. The question remains: have Kent County Council also made their decision before consulting with the public? We guess the answer will be clear in time…