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Library users prepare for potential legal challenge against Essex County Council

Harlow Council / Wed 31st Jul 2019 at 07:31am

LIBRARY users from across Essex have instructed leading law firm Watkins and Gunn to give legal advice for a potential legal challenge against Essex County Council.

Campaigners believe that the revised library strategy which sees Essex County Council asking volunteers to house and run libraries sees the Council failing in its statutory duty to provide a library service.

The revised strategy has been condemned as a ‘closure plan by stealth’ by campaign group SOLE.

“While we are sad it has come to this, we welcome library users looking at using the law to hold Essex County Council to account” said a SOLE spokesperson. “It is not the job of volunteers to house and run a library, it is Essex County Council’s statutory duty.”

“The whole process by which Essex County Council has gone about this has been fundamentally flawed. Their consultation was condemned by a world renowned academic for asking leading questions and being too complicated. Yet Essex County Council chose to dismiss these concerns without even reading the report.”

Watkins and Gunn have been involved in similar cases before, including a successful challenge against plans to close over twenty libraries in Northamptonshire last year.

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