The Legal Challenge – A Press Release from the Support Group

Church Stretton Library Support Group gives Shropshire Council one more opportunity to abandon its library relocation plan before launching the legal action

The Church Stretton Library Support Group has now completed its detailed case against Shropshire Council and its decision to relocate the library to the edge of town and is ready to join with library users to go to court to challenge the relocation decision.

The group has spent hundreds of hours talking to local residents, organising a petition, running public meetings and a drop in session and is confident that it is representing the majority opinion in Church Stretton which is clearly that the library should stay where it is.

The Library support group is delighted that it has secured the services of one of one of the most experienced solicitors in the country working on libraries, schools and hospitals. He is Michael Imperato of Watkins and Gunn. We have also been fortunate to secure the services of one of Britain’s top Q.C.s working in public law and challenging the decisions of public bodies when they embark on ill-thought out changes in service provision. He is Nick Bowen Q.C. of Doughty Chambers in London

Commenting on the legal action Felicity Thomas, a spokesperson for the support group said:

“We do not want to pursue Shropshire Council in the courts but we have exhausted every other opportunity for taking part in a meaningful democratic process that takes local residents and library users seriously and recognises that they are equal partners in decision making. The whole process to date has been a top-down imposition of a deeply flawed idea and the rejection of an offer by our group to work with the council, keep the library where it is and deliver a community library run by the community.”

Felicity went 0n to say:

“We have contacted the Chief Executive of Shropshire Council today to request that the plan to relocate the library to the school be abandoned and that council officers sit down with the community they serve to put together a community run alternative.. There is still time for common sense to prevail”.

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