Shock at town library closure threat

15:30 05 April 2014

Archant

Budleigh Salterton Library could be at risk of closure unless volunteers from the community come forward to take it over.

That’s the message from Devon County Council, which says it wants to make changes to its libraries to modernise them and save money.

Budleigh Salterton Library is one of 28 in the county for which the council will invite community ideas about how they could be sustained, pending the outcome of its cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The council says it has no single model in mind, but suggests that a proposed model in Topsham, where charity the Estuary League of Friends is set to take over the library, is the kind of thing that could be done.

However, if no suitable community involvement could be found in Budleigh, there is a risk the library could close.

A county council spokesman said: “Subject to next week’s council meeting, communities will now be asked to take over the running of the services, with some level of support from the council, otherwise they risk it ending.

“The council, however, does not intend for any libraries to close and is confident that communities, charities and any interested group, will get behind the proposals to keep the local services running.”

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.”

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?

“I am really cross with the county council. It’s just another service they are cutting back on.”

Age Concern Budleigh Salterton’s Sian Bannister said: “Our clients say the library is an essential part of this community. It’s a fantastic place for information and meeting people for them.”

The council says the move is not just due to its need, following Government funding cuts, to save £110million by 2017, but also to reflect changes in library usage.

Assuming the council’s cabinet rubber-stamps the move, the plans will go out for consultation for the next three months, before firm proposals are announced in the autumn.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Members of EDDC's Streetscene team investigating the sink hole on Exmouth beach

Work on a section of Exmouth beach where a sink hole has appeared several times in the last two months is set to begin on Friday, August 28.

Read more
Speedometer

Exmouth crime writer Graham Hurley says that a narrow street without pavements has turned into a rat-run and should have a 20mph speed limit.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:48

After Great Britain’s record medal haul at the recent FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, where 14 medals (seven of them gold) were won by the GB squad across swimming and diving, this is your chance to take the plunge.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:23
Best garden winners Peter and Evelyn Paine, who are also celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary

A Lympstone couple, who will be celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary, have won a gardening award.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:22
Ready for the off at the start of one of the junior swimming races in the National Surf Life Saving Championships this week. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 2736-34-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Exmouth beach welcomes back the Surf Life Saving GB Ocean Championships this week.

Read more
Tue, 09:09

New markings could be installed to warn people not to cycle on pavements in Budleigh Salterton.

Read more
Mon, 17:31
Beautiful days

Photos by Eleanor Pipe, Stephen Sumner and Becca Gliddon

Read more
Mon, 12:37
Inspector Antonia Weeks

‘Non-dwelling’ burglaries of buildings like out-houses and garden sheds in the Exmouth area have increased by eight per cent in a year.

Read more
Mon, 09:09
Staff from Home Instead Senior Care present a cheque to Hospiscare.

A team of fundraisers from a Budleigh-based care provider have thanked their supporters after raising hundreds of pounds for charity.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 11°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