Library usage figures questioned

11:20 27 June 2014

Budleigh Salterton Library.

Budleigh Salterton Library.

Archant

The fate of Budleigh Salterton Library could be decided by figures which make it appear far less popular than it really is, it has been claimed.

Devon County Council is currently consulting on the future of its libraries, with Budleigh’s needing to have more community involvement, or the service risks ending.

As part of the consultation, the council has said that the library’s number of active borrowers is only 13 per cent of its catchment area, ranking it a lowly 20th among Devon’s libraries.

However, this is based on a figure of 2,400 borrowers, which means the catchment area population being used for the council’s data works out at more than 18,000.

For comparison, the combined population of Budleigh, East Budleigh, Bicton, Otterton and Colaton Raleigh is estimated by the council at 7,738.

The council also gives the catchment area for Sidmouth Library – in a town nearly three times the size of Budleigh – as 13,782 – meaning that although that library has less than 4,000 active borrowers, it is ranked 8th by the council – and is in line for a major ‘Devon Centre’ upgrade.

The catchment areas are calculated by the postcodes of people who use the libraries, but there is a fear that this may mean Budleigh Salterton Library’s popularity with people from other towns, who prefer the service it offers, is counting against it, as the population from those towns, which have their own libraries, is then added to its catchment.

Budleigh resident Helen Tickle, who has written to the Journal this week highlighting the issue, said: “I think Budleigh Salterton Library is being penalised for being an attractive and popular library.

“I think that a review of the catchment area data needs to be carried out before it is relied on to be the basis for the decision-making about the future of the library.”

Town mayor Caz Sismore-Hunt said: “I don’t think using those figures is fair. It’s great we get people in from Exmouth and Sidmouth, but it is a small library for Budleigh, East Budleigh, Otterton and Colaton Raleigh, and really they should look at it on the people we serve.”

In response, a Devon County Council spokesman said: “For the purpose of the review we have used the same model to work out the catchment population for all our libraries, which is based on the home addresses for all the people who borrowed items from Budleigh’s library, in this case, during 2012/13. That includes the population from the eastern side of Exmouth, which is densely populated.

“However, the active borrowers figure is just one of the many considerations that the council has made in drawing up the proposals on which it’s consulting until mid-July.

“In addition to the size of the catchment population and active usage, other important considerations include the distance from other libraries; their potential for the co-location of other service into those libraries; and their place in helping to meet the needs of the local community, such as unemployment, disability, age, and public transport access.”

The consultation will run until July 17.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Exmouth Journal visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Exmouth Journal staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Exmouth Journal account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 14:31
Exmouth Armed Forces Day. Ref exe 2368-27-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Pictures:

Read more
Yesterday, 16:19

Police have issued the all-clear after suspicious packages found in Exeter city centre have been safely dealt with.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:27

Parts of Exeter city centre remain out of bounds after suspicious packages were found this morning (Monday).

Read more
Yesterday, 12:40

Police are urging people not to drive into Exeter city centre while an investigation into two suspicious packages is ongoing.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
xia winning  a  5000 pound cheque and abrand new luxury house in manila

A five-year-old girl from Exmouth is becoming a major celebrity in the Philippines after winning a national televised competition.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Disgruntled Budleigh Salterton beach huts owners and users this week. Ref exb 1709-25-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Plans to auction off Budleigh’s beach huts to the highest bidder have been opposed by civic leaders, amid an outcry from hut owners.

Read more
Sunday, June 28, 2015
The Night Glow at Tiverton Balloon & Music Festival is a stunning spectacle.

The Tiverton Balloon and Music Festival 2015 is only two weeks away.

Read more
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Bernard Broadhurst and Amanda Taylor-Broadhurst from Exmouth are pictured at Exeter Quay. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 6506-25-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

An Exmouth couple are celebrating after again being selected to take on the best in the world at dragon boat racing.

Read more
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Deputy manager Tim Davies with a food order at the Exmouth Community Larder. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 4330-18-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on MyPhotos24.

Demand for the Exmouth Community Larder in the first half of this year has decreased from the same period in 2014.

Read more
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Exmouth college student Chloe Hurrell with head teacher Tony Alexander and David Marston and Jennie Milverton of the Budleigh literary festival. Ref exe 8759-25-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

A talented young writer from Exmouth Community College has received a potentially life-changing opportunity.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 16°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

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

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder