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Judicial review into library closures underway

19th July 2011

A landmark hearing taking place today will represent the first judicial review into the proposed library closures across the UK.

Campaigners against the closures have taken the case to the High Court, where the planned closure of six libraries in the London borough of Brent will be examined.

The decision will have a bearing on the hundreds of other UK libraries at risk of being closed and, if the campaigners are successful, could lead to a number of similar cases.

Protesters in Gloucestershire and the Isle of Wight have already won the fight to have their cases heard before the end of 2011 and author Kate Mosse said it could have 'embarrassing' consequences for the coalition government, which has so far claimed the matter is a local government issue.

'There has been a naive belief on the part of government and local authorities that after the initial objections, public anger would wane. Instead it is the precise opposite: the anger has simply exacerbated,' she explained.

Commenting on the situation recently, author Robert Harris said the reading public is 'articulate, literate and unignorable' and claimed library users will have the biggest bearing on the success of the cases. 

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