The Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries (FOGL) have been fighting cuts to Gloucestershire’s libraries throughout the year. A legal challenge has now been launched against the council’s plans, as they may be in breach of the Public Libraries Act, the Equalities Act and failure to consult properly. Following government cuts to Legal Aid, the Legal Services Commission will only be able to fund part of the costs, and will be seeking ‘community contribution’ to cover the remainder.
FOGL are not the claimant in this case (they wish to be anonymous), but we are launching a campaign to raise the money. The amount required will be between £10,000 and £15,000. We will know the exact amount after 23 June, but it is important that we start raising the money now as the council are starting to implement their cuts.
Although this sounds like a lot, if the council’s plans go ahead then communities will be having to raise more than this every year to keep their libraries running. We think it is regrettable that we have to do this, but this is the only option left in the fight to save our libraries. The lawyers have indicated they think the challenge has a good chance of success.
We are looking to raise as much as possible by 26 June 2011.
For details on how to donate or find out more, please visit our Fundraising webpage.