Tuesday, August 19, 2014
County chiefs have begun to consider feedback from residents over the future of Devon’s libraries.
Devon County Council held a consultation earlier this year about the future of the facilities.
Twenty-two of these, including Exmouth, were earmarked to become improved ‘Devon Centres’ although it was feared the current Exmouth Library building may not be suitable for this.
Budleigh Salterton Library was one of 28 which the council said would need to have greater community involvement in its running, or it could be at risk of closure.
The council says it has received more feedback from the consultation than it ever has before, including 5,500 completed questionnaires, seen 2,500 people attending local library drop-in centres, seen 1,000 people attending public meetings, and also received many emails, letters and petitions.
The council says the results are now being collated, digested, and deliberated over by senior managers and councillors, who will produce a report and recommendations to go before the council’s cabinet in October.
Cabinet member for libraries Roger Croad said: “We have had a mountain of responses to the consultation, and from the meetings and discussions that I have attended, I am encouraged by the overwhelming level of support that groups and individuals are ready to give their local library.
“It isn’t easy and we’ve a lot of work to do over coming months and then onwards.
“Until [the report is produced], we’re looking with an open mind at the results and continuing our conversations with local groups.”