Sheffield library group still fighting for inquiry

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A community group says it will consider taking legal action against a Government minister if he does not intervene over Sheffield Council’s controversial libraries takeover.

The council relinquished control of 15 libraries to save £650,000 a year - despite massive public protests, and they have now been taken over by volunteers.

Culture Secretary Ed Vaizey was due to make a final decision on whether to hold an inquiry into the issue in December but that was put back to February 27 after the Broomhill Library Action Group, which originally complained to him, made further submissions.

The action group has claimed there are ‘anomalies’ in the council’s needs assessment on which the current library branch rankings were based and an inquiry is needed into constitutes a comprehensive and efficient library service in Sheffield, as required by law.

Mr Vaizey has previously said he is ‘not minded’ to undertake an inquiry and there was still a ‘comprehensive’ service.

A spokesman for BLAG said: “If the minister declines to intervene, we will be looking at taking legal action against him for not upholding his duties.”