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Contracts signed to retain Library in Wivey

Town Council, Wiveliscombe Area Partnership step in - 11th March 2019


Wiveliscombe Town Council are pleased to announce that at an emergency meeting in February they voted to support the retention of the library in its current form. The project has been developed in conjunction with Somerset County Council and Wiveliscombe Area Partnership (WAP). The Town Council is delighted with the efforts that WAP went through to develop the project in the short time that was made available and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.  It was only in November that the Town Council support was sought to develop a project to protect the library, and they did so by “expressing an interest.” Since January, in partnership with WAP we have together developed a plan in just three months.

The future, after the first year, is difficult to predict. The money the Town Council can use has to come from grant money, called 137 Money, as the amount is limited by statute. This is same fund that the Town Council uses to fund the small grant scheme when they offer local groups funding on a one off annual basis. Just raising the precept each year is not a solution. As Wiveliscombe Town Council is the main contributor to this project they are very pleased to see that some of the surrounding Parish councils also are contributing to sustain the present situation.

Two issues that still have to be resolved:

a) The cost of the rent for the building after May 2020, when the present lease from the Coop ends.

b) The financial support being maintained by our fellow Parish Councils, as Wiveliscombe Town Council cannot financially support the retention of the library on its own when the Library catchment is so much greater than just Wiveliscombe, and to do so would limit the ability of the WTC to fund other projects/needs in the town.

The S.C.C. will report quarterly to the Wiveliscombe Town Council, WAP and the supporting Parishes as part of their “monitoring process.”

Pictured celebrating the signing of formal contracts l-r: Ollie Woodhams (SCC), Bill Whitman (WTC Chair), Pauline Homeshaw (WAP), Marian Mann (WTC Library Sub-group chair), Dave Mansell (WTC)