“Many thanks to all who attended the packed ‘Save the Library’ meeting in Endecott House. For those who missed it, the meeting accepted that to keep our library open, the community is going to have to go along with the county’s proposal that we contribute up to half of the cost i.e. raise up to £6,000 a year. This wouldn’t kick in before 2015/16.The meeting was unanimous in rejecting the cheap way out, which is to take over the library and replace the salaried librarian with a roster of volunteers. (That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a role for volunteers to help with ancillary events and activities, but we want the core Librarian functions delivered by a salaried employee.) Ideas for raising the money included: other groups using the library space and contributing some rent; asking the Jubilee Hall to consider reviewing the rent charged; the Parish Council making a contribution, maybe through an increased Parish Precept. There may be support from neighbouring parishes too.
“What needs to happen now is that the Friends of Chagford Library will call a meeting to establish themselves on a proper footing, elect a committee, etc., then take these and other ideas forward so as to write up a formal response and proposal to the County Council. This doesn’t mean that there’s no place for ‘protest’ about the fact that small communities are being put in this position, and affected groups and individuals can still use the county’s consultation feedback form and questionaire, and write to or email our county councillor James McInnes to convey how they feel.”
Photographs kindly provided by Simon Blackbourn.