Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Your North Devon library – ‘use it or lose it’

12:46 14 May 2014

Archant

Communities urged to make sure they stand up for the future of their local libraries.

Save Braunton LibrarySave Braunton Library

COMMUNITIES across North Devon are mobilising forces to protect their local libraries with Braunton and Appledore among those leading the way.

Devon County Council is seeking to cut £1.5million from its libraries budget as part of a restructuring of the service, with many smaller libraries facing an uncertain future and fearing the worst.

In Braunton, residents have banded together to form Save Braunton Library and open the campaign with a public meeting on Wednesday of next week (May 21) at the Black Horse pub in Church Street.

As many people as possible have been urged to go along from 7pm to have their say and help fight the proposals before it is too late.

North Devon library consultation events

Friday, May 16: Appledore 10am-12noon; Northam 1-3pm; Bideford 4-6pm.

Monday, June 9 – Witheridge Square 2-3pm & Witheridge School 3-4pm, regarding Tiverton Mobile Library.

Tuesday, June 10: South Molton Library 10am-12noon; Chulmleigh Library 1-3pm; Torrington Library 4-6pm.

Monday, June 16: Braunton Library 10am-12noon; Barnstaple Library 1-3pm; Bampton 4-6pm.

Friday, June 20: Winkleigh Square 11.30am-12.30pm, Torrington Mobile.

Tuesday, June 24, Hartland Fire Station 10.30am-12.30pm, for Torrington Mobile.

Wednesday, June 25: Holsworthy Library 10am-12noon.

The county is holding consultations at all local libraries, including Appledore, Northam and Bideford this Friday, at 10am-12noon, 1-3pm and 4-6pm respectively, with more North Devon dates next month.

Author Nick Arnold from Friends of Appledore Library has also urged people to turn out in droves at their local event:

“They must be prepared to talk to the county to help support their library,” he said.

“If they don’t do it now they are going to have to do it later and almost certainly it will be more traumatic later on. The more people who use libraries the more difficult they are to close – use it or lose it is the message.”

The consultation runs until July 17 and while proposals could see libraries in larger towns redeveloped into ‘Devon Centres’ offering a wider range of services, there are fears smaller communities could suffer.

Chulmleigh, Braunton, Combe Martin, Lynton, Northam and Appledore libraries face an uncertain future, with the county suggesting local groups might be able to run some or all of the services, but some worry it will simply lead to closure.

“This proposal has angered many local people and already kids are collecting petition signatures in the school playground,” said Braunton resident Ben Hewitt, who is organising Save Braunton Library.

“It is vital we work together to make our voices heard in the next two months. The closure of our library would hurt thousands of ordinary families in Braunton both today and in years to come.”

The Braunton campaign has already generated huge support from North Devon authors Martin Dorey and Veronica Henry, plus unexpected help from the likes of broadcaster Jeremy Vine and big-name authors Neil Gaiman and Margaret Atwood, who retweeted it on Twitter to their legions of followers.

“Not only is it unfair to pick on smaller libraries in principle, the reality is Braunton library serves more than 13,000 people, just a few hundred less than some ‘medium to large’ libraries, and is a much loved, lively and important part of our community with one in five people actively using it,” added Mr Hewitt.

Fellow campaigner and local author Tim Kevan, who runs AboutBraunton.com said the library was an integral part of community life for all ages and would be ‘a truly terrible loss to the village’.

Braunton Parish Council has also organised a public meeting in the Parish Hall on Wednesday, May 28 at 7.30pm with the chance to quiz county cabinet members Roger Croad and James McInnes about changes to local services.

To view and have your say on the library service proposals across North Devon, CLICK HERE

* Tell us what your community is doing about the proposals for your local library. Call 01271 345056 or email newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 13:50
The new riverside walkway has opened at Anchorwood Bank in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Members of walking group take a stroll with dignitaries as footpath opens

Read more
Yesterday, 16:32
Staff at Caen Medical Centre in Braunton celebrate receiving a rating for outstanding

Inspectors full of praise for local GP surgery and how it works with the community

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Mike Aitken passed away aged 81.

Bideford Bridge Rotary Club members form guard of honour at funeral of staunch supporter Mike Aitken.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
The walkway at Anchorwood Bank.

Anchorwood promenade will open to the public at 1pm following completion of safety checks

Read more
Yesterday, 10:55
North Devon Beer Festival organiser Tim Webster hopes the pints will flow this weekend

Great local ales and fantastic live music on offer at two-day beer fest

Read more
Yesterday, 10:34
The new 309/310 bus.

The new vehicles come as a new contract starts with Filers for the Barnstaple to Lynton service.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00
An uncertain future: The civic centre in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Remaining county council staff to move into refurbished annex in August but long-term future of tower block is still ‘undecided’

Read more
Thu, 17:14
The Earl of Rone

Parades and drums as villagers out in force this weekend seeking the elusive earl...

Read more
Thu, 14:53
Alex Davis and his special tribute to HM The Queen at RHS Garden Rosemoor.

Gardener at RHS Garden Torrington pays tribute to HM The Queen with turf art.

Read more
Thu, 14:28
Oceanfest competition.

Enter our simple competition for a chance to win tickets to the surf and music festival in Croyde next month.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications