High Court Libraries Hearing: Judicial Review Rejected

Judge turns down application for judicial review

His Honour, Judge Pearl has spent the last few hours listening to the barristers acting on behalf of both the Isle of Wight council and the Island resident seeking a judicial review on the decision to close five libraries.

His decision has been to grant against the Judicial Review.

In his summing up, the judge declared that the application was out of the time period and that permission should not be granted.

Would be to the detriment of good administration
Declaring that the claimant’s defence (that the Legal Services Commission had caused the delay) was not good enough, he went on to say that it would be to the detriment of good administration if he had granted a Judicial Review outside of the three month time period.

He told the court that even if he’d granted an extension, he would have refused the application for a Judicial Review anyway.

He went on to say that there were difficult circumstances affecting the defendant (council) but that they had listened to the consultation and altered their proposals accordingly (ie, the change to the four libraries due for closure after one year being scrapped).

Decision made with open mind
Judge Pearl went on to say that he felt the decision made by the Cabinet on 1 March was made with open mind. Equality issues had given him cause for reflection, but in the end, he decided they were not valid.

Summing up, he said that in his view, that in the budget meeting held on 21 February, equality assessments were considered and given due regard. He refused the application for an extension to the three month window in which to apply for a Judicial Review.

Council apply for costs
The defendant (IWC) has applied for costs of the acknowledgement of service and cost of attendance today.

One of the library campaigners, Dave Quigley, said after the decision, “We are holding the Legal Services Commission responsible for this due to their delays.”

There will be no opportunity to appeal the decision.

Image: Sam Mac Entee under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 26th July, 2011 3:35pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/28K8

Filed under: Budget Cuts, Community, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News

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26 Comments on "High Court Libraries Hearing: Judicial Review Rejected"

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I can hear the popping of corks and smug laughter drifting out of the top floor of County Hall now. They might think it’s all over but there may be a surprise or two to come.

Steephill Jack

I think they do that in the privacy of the Conservative Club in Newport. I have seen Cllr.Brown heading in there after a hard day of muck spreading.

This is very disappointing news and has given Pugh, Benyon and the cabinet the green light to go ahead and run down the libraries. It’s also a licence to run down, sell off or even close down other public services. It may be a blow, but it’s not a defeat. I just hope the campaign against this Council’s policies will gather strength over the next 18 months… Read more »

I think Dave Q has to remember they have just won a small battle,not the war!The war will end at the polling stations.Well done for your efforts and dedication.


All a conspiracy. A few surprises are to come. Watch out Pugh and co. Its not over till the fat lady sings!

Loo Loo

Are you sure there are surprises still to come? Do you know something we don’t, or is it your hope? If there are any stories about this Council still to come, it would be great to see them revealed on the Blog.


Its laughable. The high court decides in the councils favour, and its a conspiracy with champagne flowing in county hall. The high court has made its decision. If you can prove the corruption that a conspiracy implies then go for it, if not then implying a high court judge is involved in a conspiracy is surely very close to libel.

Loo Loo

Now this Court decision has been made, hopefully more and more Islanders will begin to show their displeasure, frustrations and anger with this lot between now and the next local election.

They may be popping corks right now, hopefully they’ll be shedding tears in 18 months time.

jane nash

Such a shame for all those who have worked so hard to get this far. Such a disappointment, but as someone said above, the answer is in the ballot box.

It is a shame and a sad day for many Islanders, young and old, Dave Q and the Save the Libraries campaign. On the positive side, it could be the beginning of the end for this Council, even though the Tory leaders think they’re invisible. The Council’s decision to press ahead with these library cuts will hopefully sway enough people to vote for a party other than… Read more »
Thank you for your kind words. We certainly do not see the war as lost. We have been told that the Independents on the IWC support our attempts to save all 11 libraries. We would ask eveyone who supported us to ask the Independents one question. “If we support you in 2013 and you are elected into power, will you reverse this current councils decision on libraries?”… Read more »

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the (so called) Judge was a CONservative


An approach would be if Local Services are being trimmed & cut, trim some off the payment of Council Tax. Why pay a 100% when the Isle of Wight Council are providing less than 100% back to the community.

Citizen Ken
Now that we’ve reached the end of the legal no through road, is it too much to hope that the “Save our libraries” campaigners will spend a bit of time and energy on actually saving our libraries? These community libraries need volunteers to run them, steering groups to manage them, and fund raisers and advocates to help them thrive. So come on Dave Q etc – get… Read more »
Steephill Jack
Ah yes, and on our days off we can clean the toilets and operate some Tourist Information Centres too. The whole thing is Tory ideology and they are reducing public expenditure to pay off the debts arising from the crisis caused by the banks. I say it again: where does the Tory Party funding come from ? More than half comes from investment banks and hedge fund… Read more »

Excellent comment Steephill!

Before suggesting that I should get involved why do you not ask if I’m involved? I offered my help both to George Brown and to the East Cowes Town Council well before any legal challenge was thought off. George Brown welcomed my offer and hoped I would get involved. East Cowes Town Council on the other hand refused to even answer emails from me. Having spent 3… Read more »
Amanda H

That’s a great shame Dave. You have clearly put a huge amount of work into saving the libraries so to have your offer of help rejected by the Town Council is shameful.

Perhaps ‘Citizen Ken’ can have a word and sort it out.

Paul Miller
At the end of the day, we are a society based on the ‘rule of law’. That’s why we have accept this decision as it stands. As we can see, the case was thrown out on a technicality – because that is how law works. (Leave your preconceptions of nobility at the door, please.) ‘Going to law’ is risky. Arguably it should not be – and should… Read more »
Citizen Ken

Sorry Paul, not just a technicality. This is what the blog reporter wrote about the judge’s statement:-

“He told the court that even if he’d granted an extension, he would have refused the application for a Judicial Review anyway.”

Not everything is a conspiracy you know.

Steephill Jack

However, it is Parliament that makes the law which the judges have to interpret.
House of Commons is accountable to the electorate, even if the Law Lords are not.

Loo Loo

I wonder whether Cameron and the Tory Government are using the Island as an experiment for their Big Society idea? Governments these days are very fond of using areas of the UK as pilot schemes before releasing policies nationwide.

Although we lost yesterday, we did have a minor success- given to us by the IWC’s QC. He quite forcefully stated that the council had listened to the consultation and had rethought their plans, admitting that the saving of Cowes, Sandown, Ventnor and Freshwater libraries were considered to be part of the requirements needed to fulfill Section 7 of the 1964 Act. Be aware the supporters of… Read more »
Simon Perry
It’s worth clarifying what the Judge did yesterday. He didn’t support the closure of the libraries, neither did oppose them. The hearing yesterday is standard when pursuring a full Judicial Review. A judge has to be pursuaded that a full Judicial Review is required. After hearing the evidence from both the Applicant and the Defence, he wasn’t pursuaded that it should go to a Judicial Review. It… Read more »
michael blake

enquiry: judgements of high court alor sedar
case # 22-63-2004


Googled and checked High Court web site. No doubt it’s me that’s thick but what’s your point?