A packed public meeting in Church Stretton last night showed overwhelming level of support for legal action following Shropshire Council’s decision to move the library from its town centre location to the school on the outskirts of the town.
During the meeting, Church Stretton Library Support Group asked the community whether or not it would back legal action against the Council to challenge the decision made on 27 March when one councillor, Councillor Charmley, sitting in private session with no members of the press or public allowed to be present and with no minutes taken, made the decision to close the library on its current site in Church Stretton and move it out of town to the school site on Shrewsbury Road.
After a full explanation of what would be involved in this legal action and a detailed question and answer session the 140 people in the hall voted unanimously in favour of taking legal action against Shropshire Council.
Commenting on the overwhelming level of support for legal action, Felicity Thomas, a spokesperson for the support group said:
“The very clear message from those attending this public meeting was that we should start legal proceedings and we will now do that. We have tried everything else we can think of including putting forward a community-run library option and requesting a call-in of the decision, so that the move to the school could be thoroughly scrutinised. All our suggestions and the call-in have been rejected. The 82% of those replying to the consultation who wanted the library to stay where it is have also had their wishes rejected. This leaves us with no alternative but to take legal action and that will now be pursued with vigour and massive public support.”
Felicity went on to say “There is still time for the Council to change its mind on the school plan and we hope it will. Legal action is costly for both parties and we have a solution that avoids legal action and invite the Council even at this late stage to work with the community and not against it.”