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 failed to consult properly, and permission for the case to proceed to judicial review in September 2011 was granted by a High Court judge on the 7th July. 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 (the claimant wishes to be anonymous), but we have launched a campaign to raise the money. The LSC have set the amount required for ‘community contribution’ to the case as £11,350.
Although the amount of money required 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.
UPDATE: We have now raised the £11,350 required as ‘community contribution’ by the LSC – congratulations and a huge thank you to all who contributed, or helped coordinate and spread the word of the fundraising drive!
However, the LSC have ‘underfunded’ PIL’s costs in the case by £7,000. Although we have been told that the case will now go ahead regardless, this essentially represents a hole in PIL’s budget and their subsidising of the case, so we would like to help if we can. Therefore the fundraising drive will continue – please carry on spreading the word!
Ways to donate
Important: If we fail to raise the money or if the challenge is won “subject to any shortfall between actual costs and costs recovered, money could also be returned to you”. For this to happen, you must specify this when you donate, and give your full details to enable us to return the money. If you fail to do this, the money will be donated to a literacy charity. Cash sent to us cannot be returned (any donations made or information you give us will, of course, remain strictly confidential).
To donate by cheque, send to:
Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries, c/o 30 Heathville Road, Gloucester, GL1 3DS
Cheques should be made out to Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries. Please give your address, email address or phone number and indicate whether you wish your money to be returned if the challenge is won. If we do not have these details, money cannot be returned.
Pay into our bank account:
Account name: Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries
Sort code: 30-91-87
Account number: 41020468
If you send a payment to our account and wish to have the money returned, please send us your full contact details and indicate your wishes at the time of donating.
Send money using PayPal to our account at email@example.com.
Please note: PayPal take a percentage of any transfer as a handling fee. Therefore, you may wish to choose the above methods, which will ensure that your entire donation reaches us. Again, we will need your contact details and an indication of whether you want the money returned.
Want to know more?
If you have any questions about this campaign or how to donate money, please contact Nancy or Julie on firstname.lastname@example.org