Judicial Review on Brent Libraries

I’m sure you would have all seen coverage of the Judicial Review decision on Libraries in Brent today. Anyone wishing to see the Judgement of the case can view it here: LINK

Leader of Brent Council Councillor Ann John has said the following:

“With the coalition government making £104 million of cuts to this Council’s budget, we have had to look at every service the Council delivers.

Despite the cuts, we want Brent residents to have the best services possible.

In the libraries service, that means having libraries open seven days a week, and in the evenings, when our busy residents need to use them; it also means having state of the art computer facilities and high speed internet, which are essential for libraries to be a place of study and learning; it means investing in books, not buildings; and it means having a programme of educational and cultural events for the benefit of all local residents.

We firmly believe we can only do all that by delivering services from the six well located, popular libraries which have good transport links and high street locations. In the past, when more funds were available, we were happy to subsidise the poorly used branch libraries in residential locations, but it just not possible under this government’s cuts.

I am confident that we will achieve our goal of having more local people use our libraries, and getting more from them, as a result of our plans.

I also have to pay tribute to the staff in our libraries service who have showed exemplary professionalism while waiting for the outcome of this case.”

What is puzzling is that every single point made of allegation made towards the Council was ruled in favour of Brent Council. The Judge has even refused permission for the decision to be appealed. Surely a reputable law firm making the case with loads of experience in public law would have known or had some indication of the chances of success. Despite this, the case was taken forward. I wonder how much they stand to profit from all of this.

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