Don't miss a story sign up to Exmouth Journal's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Council approves library consultation amid closure fears

13:08 09 April 2014

Archant

Devon County Council has agreed to consult on plans which could see Exmouth Library upgraded, but could also put Budleigh Salterton Library at risk of closure.

The council announced plans last week to look at turning 22 of its libraries – including Exmouth – into improved ‘Devon Centres’, while its other 28 libraries, including Budleigh, would need community volunteers to take over their running.

The county council said it did not intend for any closures to happen, however it did say that if no-one came forward from the 28 communities, there would be a risk of their services ending.

At a meeting this lunchtime, Devon County Council’s cabinet has agreed to go ahead with its consultation, which is expected to begin next week, and will last for three months.

Councillor Roger Croad, the council’s cabinet member with responsibility for the library service, told the meeting: “This is not a closure programme. I haven’t said we won’t close any libraries. I have said we have not closed any libraries.”

The council says that its Devon Centres – following a model already being discussed for Exmouth - would offer a broader range of services.

A spokesman said: “Devon Centres would form the backbone of the county’s future library provision, offering high quality services to encourage reading; supporting access to information and learning; and promoting access to wider cultural activity alongside a wider range of complementary community services.”

In Budleigh, opinion is divided on what the proposals could mean.

County councillor for Budleigh Christine Channon said she was confident that increased community involvement would be found, citing the strong levels of volunteer help already at the library, and suggesting it could actually be a chance to improve the service.

She said: “There was a cutback in the hours three years ago, but on Saturday now there is someone there from the council but the others are volunteers.

“This is an area where people are extremely good at volunteering. If there is an opportunity to expand what’s going on in the library this is an opportunity we can grasp.

“I would chain myself to the railings if I thought they were going to close Budleigh Salterton Library, but I’m not losing any sleep over it.”

However, town deputy mayor Caz Sismore-Hunt said: “I think it’s appalling. Perhaps they would like to ask all the charities, including the Poppy Appeal, and anyone who relies on volunteers if they get an abundance of volunteers.

“We can’t get any volunteers, so where are these volunteers coming from to run the library?”

Budleigh Salterton Town Council will be discussing its response to the consultation at a special meeting on Monday.

In Topsham, a pre-existing plan by charity the Estuary League of Friends to take over the library will be considered for planning approval by Exeter City Council, also on Monday.

0 comments

Other News Stories

19 minutes ago
Holly Hazell is pictured in her new cake shop business on Exeter Road. Ref exe 21-16SH 6096. Picture: Simon Horn.

A down-on-her-luck young Exmouth woman has revealed how she has turned things around, following the launch of her new business.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Littleham Primary School pupils had a sneak peek of their new spiritual garden which has been created with the help of The Men's Shed and Exmouth In Bloom community groups. Ref exe 18-16AW 5121. Picture: Alex Walton

An Exmouth school is celebrating after having its garden area regenerated.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:30
Dawn Witkiss retires from her post as administrator after 17 years at the Claremont Medical Practice. Ref exe 20-16AW 7767. Picture: Alex Walton

An Exmouth surgery has said goodbye to a member of staff after 17 years in the role.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

Exmouth residents are being urged to visit their TSB store and vote for the best piggy bank to raise funds for charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Vera Sedgemore celebrated her 100th birthday at the wedding of her grand daughter Claire and her husband Mark Emmins

A woman born and bred in Exmouth has celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by friends and family.

Read more
Fri, 23:54
Bad Manners at the Exmouth Festival on Friday evening. Ref exe 22-16SH 7002. Picture: Simon Horn.

Pictures: Bad Manners

Read more
Fri, 13:53
Gillian Hipkins receiving her award from County Council chairman councillor Andrew Moulding

A Lympstone woman has been named Devon’s community transport enabler of the year at an awards ceremony.

Read more
Fri, 12:57

A drug user has been jailed after he agreed to stash almost 1,000 ecstasy tablets for a dealer.

Read more
Fri, 12:30
New Mayor of Exmouth Brian Cole (right) with new deputy mayor Jeff Trail.

Councillor Brian Cole has been named as the new Mayor of Exmouth.

Read more
Fri, 10:49
The pompom field in the gardens outside Dray Court on Exmouth's Rolle Road is part of Exmouth's Art Trail, Photo: Paul Strange.

There’s an extraordinary sight on Exmouth’s Rolle Road for the next few days.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications