Library cuts ‘grossly unjust in Colyton’

Library a valuable part of the community.

Two weeks ago, I emailed the acting head of Devon’s libraries to say that I believed the decision to reduce smaller libraries hours by a greater percentage than that of larger libraries was irrational and unjust.

I have not had the courtesy of even a standard reply, so I am writing to you so that readers, who are also library users, may be aware of the situation.

We know that savings have to be made, but we, in Colyton, pay the same council tax to Devon County Council as people in say Exmouth, Sidmouth or Seaton and there is no justification in cutting small library hours disproportionately.

Small libraries cost less to run than larger libraries, so there is even less sense in cutting our hours so harshly. (Axminster library’s hours were also cut harshly - by 31 per cent.)

Cutting Colyton’s hours by 40 per cent will have a significant effect on the viability of the library, which is a valuable community resource providing not only the traditional books, newspapers and computers, but also an information hub for local people and an enquiry and email service point for visitors.

Politicians like to eulogise the importance of communities but, as in this case, do little to help maintain them.

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To sum up: It is grossly unjust to cut Colyton’s library hours by 40 per cent. Our library is just as valuable to us as say Seaton’s is to Seatonians.

We all pay the same council tax and ALL libraries should have had their hours cut by the same percentage. We must ensure that the hours of smaller libraries are not further reduced next year when the 2012 budget cuts, that DCC are already talking about, are imposed.

Richard How