Rhydyfelin library court victory

RCT council forced to hold back closure

Rhydyfelin court victory 6-14.jpg

There was no silence in Court 3 of Newport Crown Court at 12.31 today because it was broken by cheering and applause as campaigners succeeded in winning the case for a judicial review of Rhondda Cynon Taff council's decision to close Rhydfelin library.

It must be the first time a judge has been applauded as she walked off!

The campaign has taken RCT council to court because the council broke its own procedure in agreeing to close the library. Originally Rhydyfelin library was not earmarked for closure in the £56 million cuts that RCT Labour council imposed on services in the borough. But at the last minute the council added Rhydyfelin library to the list instead of Pontyclun library. People in Rhydyfelin had no chance to take part in the consultation over the library's closure.

Incredibly the RCT's barrister argued in court that Rhydyfelin should have argued to keep the library open in the consultation anyway, even though it was not on the list of closures! By that logic every single service user of every single library, day centre, residential home, meals on wheels, school etc. in RCT should have taken part in the consultation and argued to keep their service in case the council changed its mind at the last minute! The consultation would be in chaos.

But the judge did not accept the council's arguments and the case will go for judicial review on June 18. However the library is still closed and will not re-open unless the case is won or the council are forced to retreat.

Generally the courts do not support working people taking the council to court to stop cuts. So the mass campaign in Rhydyfelin will continue. There will be a meeting of the campaign on June 11.

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