Archive for May, 2013

Last year, SLAM challenged Surrey County Council’s volunteer-run library policy in the High Court in London – a policy that removes library staff and the library management system without saving any money.

SLAM would like to thank everyone that donated generously to our legal costs. SLAM promised to return donations if the challenge was successful and costs were awarded.

SLAM was successful in its legal challenge. Surrey County Council’s library plans were found to be not only ‘unlawful‘ but ‘considerably short of what was required by the law.’ Further, the judge found that SCC’s decision was ‘so unreasonable that no other reasonable authority would have made it.’ Lest we forget that SCC said it was ‘pleased’ with this judgment!

Due to the verdict being so emphatic, SCC was ordered to pay the full costs in the case. SCC has dragged its feet for months and months but it has at last paid what it owes. SLAM is now in a position, therefore, to pay back money to all that donated.

If you  paid by cheque, by bank transfer or by debit/credit card you will have received your money by cheque along with a letter of thanks. If you have not, please get in touch.

If you paid by Paypal, your donation will have been paid back via Paypal, minus Paypal’s small administration fee. Again, if you have not received the payment, please get in touch.

Since the High Court case, SCC has struggled to implement its CPL policy and has wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds in its attempt. Our campaign and the legal case has achieved a number of concessions:

  • A reduction from 19 libraries originally intended for CPL status to 10 (only 6 launched so far)
  • Formation of a 5 person team at County Hall to support each CPL for 20% of its opening hours
  • Improved training for volunteers
  • SCC on notice should they decided to extend the CPL policy to other libraries

SCC is trying to implement the CPL policy but, thanks to your support, it is a much improved model which will give the libraries a better chance of survival.

We would like to thank you for your contribution to the campaign and for supporting Surrey’s libraries and library staff.

Kindest regards,



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