High Court verdict on Brent library closures reserved until next month

13:12 22 July 2011

Brent Council

Brent Council's plans to axe six libraries is being challenged in the High Court this week

Archant

Judge will make his ruling on August 12

The verdict on a judicial review into Brent Council’s decision to axe half of the libraries in the borough will be announced next month.

In the first case in the country, campaigners fighting the library closures have taken the case to the High Court claiming the plans were ‘unlawful’.

Despite a consultation showing 82 per cent of respondents were against the plans the reading rooms in Barham Park, Cricklewood, Kensal Rise, Neasden, Preston and Tokyngton are to close.

For the last few days, Mr Justice Duncan Ouseley has been listening to evidence including claims the closures could lead to indirect discrimination against ethnic groups, the elderly and disabled.

Helen Mountfield QC, who is representing three Brent library users, said none of the groups stood a chance because their business plans resulted in some cost to the council, which the council viewed as not viable.

Criticizing the council’s decision to turn down all of the community group’s proposals to run the libraries she said they had not been given enough information about the criteria which needed to be met.

She added: “If this criteria had been disclosed then they would have been able to address the criteria. It might have made a difference to what the council thought.”

She also said the consultation was flawed as “people were not given enough information’’.

In defence, the barrister representing the council argued: “This isn’t a case of closing libraries because the council couldn’t afford to run them. It has always been about improving the library service.”

The campaign to save the six branches has seen the backing of a host of stars including musician Nick Cave, boy band JLS, playwright Alan Bennett as well as Depeche Mode and The Pet Shop Boys.

The controversial plans will save the council £1million.

The verdict is expected to be announced on August 12.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Frankie Bridge may not have lifted the glitterball trophy, but she’s living the dream – both on and off the dancefloor.

Read more

TV presenter Caroline Flack jumped for joy as she and Pasha Kovalev lifted the glitterball trophy after becoming ballroom victors.

Read more

It’s 30 years since the film came out and it’s still utterly watchable, even for the cast.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.

TOP Stories

Fri, 17:24
Fabric club in Charterhouse Street

Clubbers across the globe are breathing a sigh of relief now that Farringdon superclub Fabric has been allowed to stay open.

Fri, 17:31
The three teenagers were found guilty of killing Paul Thrower with an axe at a block of flats in Hayes (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Three 18-year-olds have been jailed for their part in a “wicked and unnecessary” axe and knife attack reminiscent of The Shining. An unnamed 17-year-old was cleared of involvement.

Fri, 12:40
The Met have released images of 12 people wanted over burglaries and violent offences (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Images of 12 of London’s most wanted have been released by the Met as it launches a Christmas crackdown on evasive suspects.

London Bloggers

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.

Friday, November 14, 2014
Bird says back up your data

What happened after a friend of mine lost basically everything he’d created in the last 5 years: