Buckfastleigh Transition Town – for a sustainable future for Buckfastleigh, Devon
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  • Buckfastleigh Library to face closure…

    Posted on April 28th, 2014 andy No comments

    Devon Libraries Mass Closure is on the cards…
    More than half of Devon’s libraries (28) including Buckfastleigh are proposed to face closure unless they can be handed over to ‘big society’, as they will lose their staffing funding completely in the proposals set out by Devon County Council.

    Tory Councillor Roger Croad, Devon cabinet member for libraries of the Conservative-run council, said: “This is not a closure programme, I can absolutely assure you we are committed as a county council to libraries. We just need to evolve the way we support them and move forward.”…

    When he says ‘evolve’ he means take the final death-blow of the year-on-year cuts that have been falling on Devon’s libraries – the plan is to only continue to fund the larger libraries in bigger towns. The ones slated for ‘evolution’ are all small rural libraries like ours, many of them tens of miles from the nearest larger town library whose populations are already bearing the brunt of economic collapse and whose residents are in the main already struggling to make ends meet, let alone having time to spare to take over the running of these libraries voluntarily. It just won’t happen – not in any sustained joined-up manner and we will see the loss of a resource that has taken 150 years to build up.

    Ashburton too – Totnes our nearest library?
    If this happens, and since Ashburton library too is under threat, our nearest library will be the newly opened one in Totnes, entailing a 14 mile round trip (and sometimes the best part of an hours journey at certain times in the summer) if you want to take a book out, or use a computer – how many schoolchildren or older folks will be able to do that? Many people will end up losing access to library services altogether including for some their only access to the internet, while central government pours tens of millions into providing faster broadband access throughout the county for businesses and those who can afford it (more here)- yet another example of the rich-poor divide growing wider…

    DCC Consultation Process
    The council has opened up a ‘consultation process’ which you can access online here, at the ‘Tough Choices’ website (alongside the ‘Consultation process’ about closing down Devon’s youth services, the children’s centre and many others), or by filling in a form available at the library. Please Note -Proposal 2 is the one which applies to Buckfastleigh library.  Agreeing to it is a vote for cutting funding to this library and for it to be run by volunteers or to close. Be aware that the consultation process implies that this is all a done deal and the only questions open to us are where we agree to accept cuts. But we don’t have to do their dirty work for them – we do have the opportunity to let them know if we do not go along with their willingness to implement central government’s slash & burn policies…

    There is a Facebook page called ‘Save Devon’s Libraries’ here where you can find out what is going on and share your thoughts and ideas.

    Public Meeting – 17th 19th June (note correction)
    Friends of Buckfastleigh Library are planning a public meeting on Thursday 19th June  7.15 at the Town Hall, where you will be able to get your questions answered and voice your feelings about this. There is also an emergency committee formed to fight for the survival of our library if you want to get involved – contact Anne annecertain@gmail.com or Andy info@buckthetrend.info

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