Sunday, July 20, 2014
Hundreds of schoolchildren and members of the public have come together to show that their concerns about Budleigh Salterton Library are well worth listening to.
Devon County Council (DCC) has been consulting on the future of its libraries, including Budleigh, which could close if more community involvement in their running is not found.
In response to this, Budleigh musician Jane Parker has teamed up with professional filmmakers and hundreds of residents, to write a song and shoot a video they hope will prove to bosses at County Hall the strength of feeling in the town.
Jane says she wanted to do something to help save the library, and felt that the best way she could do this was by using her musical talent.
Having written the song, with help from members of St Peter’s School’s community choir, she got talking to Rebecca O’Neill, a fellow parent at the school and former BBC employee who now runs a production company with husband Owen, who offered to film a video.
And so it was that all the school’s pupils, along with staff and around 100 members of the community, came together in the playground to be recorded belting out the song, and summing up the feelings of the town.
Jane said: “Our aim was to raise awareness. We are all parents with children and the library is a really great place to go for all members of the community.”
Rebecca said: “We understand how powerful film is to get across the passion people feel about keeping Budleigh Library open. It was really magical, and I think some people got quite emotional, because they feel passionate about it.”
When asked why the school got involved with the project, deputy headteacher David Perkins said: “You read a lot about libraries being closed because the perception is they’re used by the elderly, not the younger generations, and we wanted to get across in the strongest terms that this is not accurate, and the families in our community use it in a number of ways.
“For us it was a powerful reminder of how the community comes together over something important, and this is very important to us.”
Budleigh mayor Caz Sismore-Hunt, who turned up to sing along, said: “It was superb. The kids loved it, and they had a lot of support.
“I hope the message gets over to the county council that libraries are very important in our lives, and we don’t want to lose them.”
As well as the song, a petition has also been set up, which has been offered outside the library by community volunteers during openings, and has more than 500 signatures.
DCC’s consultation ends today (Thursday).