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.

$element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value

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.

$element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value $element.shareHTML.html.value

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

06:30

Workshops in comedy, stand-up, performance, acting, painting, poetry and craft are some of the events taking place as part of the 2017 Exmouth Art Trail.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:27

The death of a woman who fell from her horse at Bicton Arena was ‘a most unfortunate’ accident, an inquest has heard.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:05

Exmouth Hospital boasts a state-of-the-art prostate cancer diagnostic service thanks to the tireless fundraising of pensioner Geoff.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:51

Katie Williams takes first place in our iwitness24 photo competition.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

District bosses say they will not begin building on Exmouth seafront if an application is approved, despite saying it would permit them to ‘take forward development’.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

Controversial plans to open a Tesco Express store in Budleigh Salterton have been revived, the supermarket giant has revealed.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:52

Budleigh Salterton residents are being urged to take part in an annual golf event to raise funds for a charitable group in the town.

Read more
Sunday, February 19, 2017

An Exmouth superstore has shown its support for the town’s RNLI volunteers with a £500 donation.

Read more
Sunday, February 19, 2017

An East Budleigh man swapped managing level crossings for husky driving and ice fishing in freezing cold temperatures for charity.

Read more
Saturday, February 18, 2017

The fundraising campaign to send Exmouth town crier Roger Bourgein to an international competition in Bermuda is nearing its target.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

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

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications