Somerset County Council has shelved its plans to close libraries in the wake of the High Court judgment that the process had been unlawful. I had expected that the Council would merely re-run the flawed consultation process, correcting the mistakes, and try and drive through the closure plan anyway. But no, they have scrapped the plans entirely, perhaps in recognition that even if they had been successful in forcing the plan through, it was a vote-loser and did very little to reduce overall Council spending. As always, we will need to be vigilant to ensure that this issue has really been put to bed, but for now we have won and our libraries stay open. Thanks to Friends of Somerset Libraries and everyone who fought this ill-thought through plan.
Stepping back from this particular issue, what the decision shows is that when the public bands together to fight plans that our Councils propose, WE CAN change their minds. For too long, people have assumed that we must just accept what our politicians propose. WE DON’T! I hope that this decision shows that campaigning works and will encourage people everywhere to get stuck in when Councils propose daft plans.