Protest campaign launched against Colyton library cuts

10:20 01 September 2011

Archant

Public meeting called after library is downgraded and opening hours cut to just 10 a week

THE Friends of Colyton Library are going into battle again in a bid to maintain service levels.

They want people to turn out in force at public a meeting to discuss the library’s future later this month.

They say they are disappointed at the planned cuts in hours announced by Devon County Council.

“We are not happy about this and, once again, we ask that Colyton people to join us in trying to get a more sensible approach to the situation,” said chairman Jane Dauncey.

She said a meeting with library chiefs had left them fearing for the future.

She told The Herald: “We went, expecting to get an update on exactly how Colyton’s needs were being met by the newly advertised cut in hours, and to establish some plans for the details of how the Friends could continue working with the library service.”

“We did not get what we wanted.”

She said Colyton had now been graded a “community library” and its planned hours reduced to 10 a week.

The opening times will be: Tuesday 2pm – 5pm, Thursday 10am to 1pm, Friday 10am to 12 noon and Saturday 10am to 12 noon.

She continued: “We are very concerned that the numbers of people using the 10 hour-a-week library will, at times, overwhelm the single staff member.”

Ms Dauncey said the Friends’ call for partnership working was also turned down.

She added: “We reminded them that we have a group of some 40 volunteers who were willing to do any type of work to help keep the library open and active, in line with David Cameron’s ideas on “The Big Society”, but they were not persuaded. They said that, perhaps next year, they would be able to consider how volunteers might be used in the future.”

Now the Friends want local people to go along and support them when the meet the head of the library service, Paul Brough, and the county council portfolio holder, Roger Croad, at a public meeting at Colyton Town Hall on Wednesday, September 14, at 6 pm.

In addition people are asked to write or e mail their concerns to Devon County Council.

For more information contact Jane Dauncey (01297) 552514 to Roger Hutton (01297) 551090.

The Friends of Colyton library also now has its own website – www.friendsofcolytonlibrary.co.uk

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