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COLYTON:We will keep our library ... and that’s for certain!
Tuesday, 08 July 2014
THE?Friends of Colyton Library have sent out a determined message that the town will not lose its library service in budget cuts. Volunteers have recently been looking at ways in which the library can be taken forward as a community-run service, following news that Devon County Council needs to cut its budget by £1.5million having already made reduction of £3million in libraries. The council is currently running a public consultation with seven proposals on the way library services could be run in the future, including “working collaboratively with communities to identify how smaller and less well-used libraries could be sustained in new and innovative ways”. In a statement this week the council said that “alternative solutions are achievable if people put their minds together”, using Colyton and Dartmouth as examples of this. Chairman of the Friends of Colyton Library, Jane Dauncey, said: “We’ve got a lot of ideas that we’re talking to the county council about. Some of them are about how we could cut costs immediately by taking ownership of the building as a charitable trust, becoming responsible for the building’s maintenance, and reducing other overhead costs. Other ideas are about how we could open the building up for other community purposes and possibly generating income. “Where there is a will, there’s a way, and the one thing that is for certain is that is that Colyton will keep its library.” So far 2,500 people have responded to the consultation on library changes, with 67.7 per cent agreeing with the proposals, but the council is hoping to engage with more commnities with ideas on how their library could be sustained before the cpnsultations comes to a close on July 17th. Councillor Roger Croad, the county council’s cabinet member with responsibility for the Library Service, said: “We’ve had a lot of really useful and constructive conversations in communities across the county and while the feedback so far has been largely positive, we are not pre-empting the consultation which has a few weeks yet to run. “It’s not surprising that there is a lot of energy and passion from communities who want to prevent any loss or reduction in their library service. “That goal is shared by the county council and, while we are financially bound by having to make considerable savings to our budget, we will do everything we can with communities to maintain access to their library service. “Many communities so far are channelling their energy to come up with really useful ideas. Some are talking about sharing buildings to reduce costs, while other ideas include bringing in other local community services alongside the library, and about the role that willing volunteers might play. “With just three weeks left for the consultation, we’d like communities from which we’ve not yet had engagement, to get in touch.” To view the proposals for library changes and take part in the consultation, visit https://new.devon.gov.uk/libraryreview/ n THE Friends of Colyton Library will be hosting a talk by politician and novelist Ann Widdecombe on Thursday, July 24th, 2pm in Colyton Town Hall, with all funds raised going towards the future of the library. Tickets for £7.50 are available at the Merchant’s Tea Room in Market Place or by emailing email@example.com
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