Library Expression of Interest from Town Council
Essential step to keep the Library open
At the meeting of Wiveliscombe Town Council on Monday 14th November it was agreed that WTC would submit an Expression of Interest to the County Council, so that a Community Library Partnership could be set-up to keep Wiveliscombe library open.
A copy of the formal motion agreed can be found here.
A detailed report had been compiled to explore background and propose the way forward, available here. The report showed that £6,000 – 8,500 per annum should be needed, which would add £5.30 - £7.50 per year for a Band D dwelling in Wiveliscombe. It would be less for those in homes with lower bands and more for higher banded properties, and smaller contributions were expected from other Parishes. The funding will be confirmed when the Town Council’s precept for the Council Tax is set.
Differing views were expressed on the legal powers the council could use and whether the Town Council or a community group should be responsible for the Community Library Partnership, which will be checked further. Discussions will also be progressed with neighbouring Parish Councils. Chipstable and Milverton have already indicated they will contribute.
Arrangements will need to be finalised and agreed by mid-January to enable the Community Library Partnership to proceed and take over from April.
On 5th November Somerset County Council decided to close 15 libraries, including Wiveliscombe, unless Community Library Partnerships can be established. The County Council will provide support by continuing to provide the books, computers and all back office systems at no charge. Wiveliscombe has also been offered the second highest financial support in the county of £9,000 per annum for an initial term of 7 years.
The report presented to the Town Council proposed that the County Council be paid to manage and staff the library and a sub-lease would be taken on the library building, with additional funding coming from the Town Council and neighbouring Parish Councils.