Somerset

Library legal case costs Somerset council £200k

  • 24 November 2012
  • From the section Somerset
A book being read in a library
As a result of the court ruling, 11 libraries kept their funding

A judicial review into cuts to library services cost Somerset County Council more than £200,000, it has been revealed.

The High Court ruled last year that the council's decision to withdraw funding to 11 libraries was unlawful.

The Conservative-led authority wanted to save £1.35m through the cuts.

It had to pay £130,000 in campaigners' legal fees, while its own legal costs amounted to £72,000. The total does not include time spent by council staff.

Cabinet Member David Hall said: "We would much rather have not had to spend £200,000 in legal costs and instead spent that money on frontline services, including the delivery of a sustainable future for the library service in Somerset."

The High Court ruled the cuts did not comply with "public sector equality duties" owed to vulnerable social groups.

As a result of the court ruling, 11 libraries kept their funding, four mobile libraries were reinstated and the opening hours at 23 libraries were lengthened.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites