Shock at town library closure threat

15:30 05 April 2014


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.


Other News Stories

EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7701-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) majority Conservative group is encouraging people to take part in a consultation ahead of the authority’s move from its Knowle HQ.

Read more
Olivia Wilson, one of a crew of four hoping to break the record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a rowing boat by a female crew.

An army officer from Lympstone is preparing to row across the Atlantic Ocean, as part of a team of women aiming to set a new world record.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30
Hillside House is set to become a care home

The owners of two Exmouth care homes are transforming an East Devon restaurant for their latest venture.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:38
AA Awards

Recognition from industry’s ‘Oscars’ helps put county on the map

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

Police are continuing efforts to improve the school run traffic situation outside Brixington Primary School.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:09
Exeter's Fanzone, in Northenhay Gardens

Sports fans can still enjoy watching the rest of the Rugby World Cup at Exeter’s Fanzone, despite England’s early exit from the tournament.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:36
Kate Ponting and Phil Clayton have been offering guided cycling tours of the heathland around Woodbury Common. Ref exe 0163-40-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Families have been given the chance to find out about the natural history of East Devon - on two wheels.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:32
Beacon School sports. Ref exe 2041-39-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Children at The Beacon Church of England Primary School took advantage of some early Autumn sunshine by competing in an afternoon of sports.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:10
Emile Ghessen - frontline film maker

A dad from Exmouth - who went to school with terrorist ‘Jihadi John’ - has travelled around Iraq by taxi, armed only with a camera, to document western fighters’ frontline battle to bring down Islamic State militants.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

Police have successfully clamped down on antisocial behaviour and shoplifting in Exmouth’s town centre.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Exmouth

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Find planning applications