Case to be made to keep library

PUBLISHED: 11:55 23 September 2014 | UPDATED: 11:55 23 September 2014

Budleigh Salterton Library.

Budleigh Salterton Library.

Archant

A steering group is being set up which will aim to secure the future of Budleigh Salterton Library.

There has been a question mark over the library’s future since Devon County Council announced, in April, that small libraries such as Budleigh risked closure if they did not find greater community involvement in their services.

County bosses are currently considering the results of their public consultation, but in the meantime a small steering group has been formed, with members from town, district and county councils, the library and residents, to come up with a solution for Budleigh Salterton.

County councillor Christine Channon, a member of the group, said that there were some exciting ideas for how the library might move forward – however, the first priority was to draw up a business case to prevent its closure. She said: “We need to put together a business case, and we have lots of facts and figures from the county council to do that.”

The group has been founded after a meeting of interested parties, at which several ideas were discussed.

Cllr Channon said: “Quite a lot of exciting ideas came out.

“What we are being asked to do with libraries is move them forward for our children and our grandchildren.”

The group is set to meet later this month to consider ideas, which will then be presented to residents in a meeting at the Public Hall on November 14.

This date will come after the county council’s October cabinet meeting, when members are due to be given its consultation results.

However, Cllr Channon says that meeting will be merely for the cabinet to consider the feedback, rather than make any final decisions.

The county council has repeatedly stated that it does not want to close any libraries, but is trying to save £1.5million from its libraries budget.

Budleigh is one of 28 smaller libraries which bosses say need more community involvement, while larger libraries are set to become improved ‘Devon Centres’.

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