Councillors question whether there is a need to move North Devon Records Office from Barnstaple Library.

The need to close North Devon Records Office (NDRO) and move local historical records to Exeter and Taunton has come under further scrutiny this week.

Following a decision not to relocate Devon County Council staff to Barnstaple Library, Councillors Brian Greenslade and Frank Biederman have questioned the need to move the North Devon Records Office (NDRO) from the library.

They quizzed cabinet member for community and environment Roger Croad at a meeting on Thursday.

Cllr Greenslade said the decision to move the records via the South West Heritage Trust was ‘unpopular’, and asked the cabinet member to reconsider.

Cllr Croad replied: “Following the county council’s decision to relocate staff to the annex of the Civic Centre, the future of the NDRO remains under review.

“The previous proposed changes to the NDRO were driven not only by the need for space for Civic Centre staff but also by the need to reduce the costs of providing a heritage service in North Devon.

“At the current time, the council does not have sufficient budget to fund the heritage trust to provide a service in North Devon beyond the next couple of months.”

Cllr Biederman said: “I am pleased it is being looked at and clearly it is now about money and not space.

“I can’t believe it is going to save anything as the cost of moving records up and down the link road will outweigh any saving.

“I just hope common sense prevails and this popular facility is saved for the benefit of locals and visitors to North Devon trying to trace their roots and family.”