CAMPAIGNERS against the Shropshire Council decision to move the library out of Church Stretton town centre are to take legal action in a bid to get a review.

At a packed public meeting the Church Stretton Library Support Group asked the community whether or not it would back legal action against the council to challenge its library decision.

After a full explanation of what would be involved in this legal action and a detailed question and answer session the 140 people in the hall were asked to vote and the result was unanimous in favour of taking legal action against Shropshire Council.

“The very clear message from those attending this public meeting was that we should start legal proceedings and we will now do that,” said Felicity Thomas of the Church Stretton Library Support Group.

“We have tried everything else we can think of including putting forward a community-run library option and requesting a call-in of the decision so that the move to the school could be thoroughly scrutinised.

“All our suggestions and the call-in have been rejected. The 82% of those replying to the consultation who wanted the library to stay where it is have also had their wishes rejected.

"This leaves us with no alternative but to take legal action and that will now be pursued with vigour and massive public support.

“There is still time for the council to change its mind on the school plan and we hope it will.

“Legal action is costly for both parties and we have a solution that avoids legal action and invite the council even at this late stage to work with the community and not against it.”

The campaigners have decided to look at legal action after being told that a bid to have the decision reviewed by the Shropshire Council Scrutiny Committee was rejected by Councillor Vince Hunt, who chairs the committee.

“I have considered your call in and after consulting with the council's monitoring officer I do not consider your call in request is valid,” he said.

“My reasons for this are that the rationale for your call in does not provide any new alternatives.

“The further information that is requested in the call in will be developed as the decision moves forward. The consultation has only just been completed and now the detail will be worked on. It has been made very clear that this proposal will be worked on with the community.

“Finally, I do not consider this a proper group call in as you have simply posted through the points raised by interested members of the public.”

The decision to relocate the Church Stretton Library from its current site to the school on Shrewsbury Road was made in private session at the end of March by Councillor Steve Charmley, sitting on his own with press and members of the public excluded.