Town’s library faces closure

06:30 09 April 2014


Ottery’s library could face closure unless volunteers step forward to run it under cost-saving measures unveiled by county bosses.

The proposals announced by Devon County Council (DCC) could affect more than half of the county’s libraries and would see a move towards fewer but better equipped facilities known as ‘Devon Centres’.

These centres, which would include Sidmouth and Honiton, would offer a broader range of services than traditional libraries - including adult learning classes and more public IT facilities.

But options on the table for smaller libraries like Ottery’s include a reduction in opening hours and a reliance on volunteers to operate the service.

A DCC spokesman confirmed last week: “Subject to next week’s council meeting, communities will now be asked to take over the running of the services, with some level of support from the council, otherwise they risk ending.

“However the council does not intend for any libraries to close and is confident that communities, charities and any interested group will get behind the proposals to keep the local services running.”

Councillor Claire Wright, county representative for Ottery, described the proposals as ‘savage’, adding that they could have a potentially devastating impact on the town.

She said: “It is a huge ask to get the community to step in and run these facilities.

“I know that money is scarce, but these cuts are having the effect of ripping the fabric out of communities.

“It isn’t just people who go to borrow books, some go because they are lonely and meeting other people there is part of their social network.”

Cllr Wright added that she is due to meet with the library manager to establish how many people in the area would be affected.

County bosses are faced with making £110million in savings over the next four years, but Councillor Roger Croad, DCC cabinet member responsible for libraries, said that a cut in Government funding was not the only reason behind the proposals.

“Changes in the way people use libraries, and in what they expect of the service, is also driving this consideration of what a future library service might look like.”

“We think these proposals represent the best opportunity to maximise the potential of libraries to support local communities in the future.”


Other News Stories

Yesterday, 13:25
The Sidmouth Friends of the Samaritans held their AGM this week. Pictured are chairman Sue Kensdale with from left Ron Harbour (treasurer), vice chairman Gerald Hayne and Denis Jones (sec). Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 3446-08-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to

A long-running fundraising group, which has donated more than £114,000 to charity, is to fold as it cannot find a new committee.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:25
Daffodil bulb planting at Peak Hill in 2013. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6320-44-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders

Planting this month is set to take Sidmouth past the half-way mark in turning it into the ‘Valley of a Million Bulbs’.

Read more
Wed, 16:25
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

Campaigners who have decided not to pursue a bid to secure legal protection for Knowle’s parkland claim the bid has cast doubt on future use of Localism legislation in East Devon.

Read more
Wed, 12:25
The Radway cinema in Sidmouth. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7345-13-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders

James Bond fans need to act fast as tickets for a VIP screening of the super-spy’s latest silver screen outing have almost sold out.

Read more
Wed, 06:25
Prospective town councillors Matt Booth and Deirdre Hounsom

Residents in the West ward will go to the polls tomorrow (October 8) to fill a vacancy on Sidmouth Town Council.

Read more
Tue, 14:38
AA Awards

Recognition from industry’s ‘Oscars’ helps put county on the map

Read more
Tue, 12:25
Bill Beaumont presents a Legacy Gold Standard award to Lester Wilmington, chairman of Sidmouth Rugby Club. Ref shs 0765-40-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Work at grass-roots level has scored Sidmouth Rugby Club a national gold award and recognition from one of the sport’s legends.

Read more
Tue, 12:25
Robin Waller, who has died aged 73, pictured receiving his honorary membership of Exmouth Carnival, with granddaughter Cassara.

‘Carnivalites’ from across the East Devon circuit have remembered a former Sidmouth Carnival organiser with a heart of gold, who has died at the age of 73.

Read more
Tue, 10:25
Wendy Taylor at Sidmouth Market

Business owners at Sidmouth’s well-used market building have questioned the ‘bizarre’ comments of a town councillor – who is calling for its demolition.

Read more
Tue, 10:09
Exeter's Fanzone, in Northenhay Gardens

Sports fans can still enjoy watching the rest of the Rugby World Cup at Exeter’s Fanzone, despite England’s early exit from the tournament.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Find a job in Sidmouth

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications