Keep my library pledge

SIR - Congratulations to the new Conservative county councillor for Northam, Appledore, Westward Ho!, Orchard Hill Division, Andrew Eastman. As the second-placed candidate, standing for the UK Independence Party, I am grateful for this opportunity to expr

SIR - Congratulations to the new Conservative county councillor for Northam, Appledore, Westward Ho!, Orchard Hill Division, Andrew Eastman.

As the second-placed candidate, standing for the UK Independence Party, I am grateful for this opportunity to express my appreciation to the 1,084 electors who gave me their support.

This was the first time I have ever put myself forward for any publicly elected position and I am extremely grateful and pleasantly surprised at the confidence shown in me. Thank you all.

One of my reasons for standing for election was to attempt to overturn the decision made by Liberal Democrat controlled Devon County Council some three years ago to close several small Devon libraries, including the one at Appledore.


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This very well used library has been kept open since by the efforts of FOAL (Friends of Appledore Library) and their extremely hard work in raising �4,800 each year to pay the rental and upkeep of the existing premises, while the county provided the staff, books and other equipment.

This sum of money is becoming more difficult to raise every year and I pledged, if elected, to donate the necessary sum to FOAL for the next four years out of either the surplus in the very generous county councillor's allowances/expenses or the councillor's Divisional Budget, available to all elected councillors, which I understand is in excess of �12,000 per annum.

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It would be nice to think that the new Conservative controlled council will see fit to overturn their predecessors' penny pinching decision and revert to fully funding the library in a sensible manner, but if they don't perhaps our newly elected councillor would like to give consideration to taking on board my pledge to use part of the Divisional Budget to keep our library open.

David Johnson (UKIP candidate).

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