Dorset communities set to take over libraries

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

A TOTAL of eight communities are now set to take over the running of their local Libraries.

Dorset County Council agreed to withdraw funding from nine of the county’s libraries last year in a bid to reduce its budget.

Portland’s Underhill Library has since closed its doors and been replaced by a mobile library service.

Meanwhile seven other communities – at Puddletown, Chickerell, Wool, Burton Bradstock, Charmouth, Colehill and Stalbridge – have been in discussions with the county council about taking on their libraries with support from the library service.

The authority’s cabinet has now been informed that positive talks have recently also taken place between council library bosses and the Corfe Castle community with a view to handing over control of their facility.

Head of cultural services Paul Leivers said that, while there were further discussions required in connection with the lease of the library building, the signs were positive that the Friends of Corfe Castle Library would follow in the footsteps of the seven other communities.

He said: “I’m very optimistic we could achieve a positive outcome.”

The council is aiming to transfer the running of the seven other libraries to the communities in September and has now set a target of handing over Corfe Castle by April next year.

The cabinet also agreed to provide a one-off set grant to each community of £2,000 to help get the libraries up and running.

Spokesman for the Association of Friends of Dorset Libraries (AdLib) Mike Chaney, who is also chairman of the Friends of Puddletown Library, said the offer of the set-up grant had been welcomed by the communities.

He said: “They are one-off grants so we plan not to spend ours in Puddletown on revenue costs but to buy all the stuff that we need to run what is in fact a small business these days.”

Another alteration saw members agree to offer a package of support for the communities taking on the libraries on a rolling four-year basis, rather than the three years that had initially been proposed.

Mr Chaney said the amendment would make it easier for the community groups to apply for grants to support their efforts.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:08pm Thu 5 Jul 12

JamesYoung says...

I wonder how many of these communities will be relocated their libraries to a new building in the town centre?
I wonder how many of these communities will be relocated their libraries to a new building in the town centre? JamesYoung
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Thu 5 Jul 12

Hardy Lass says...

The disgraceful waste of taxpayers money which is the new West Dorset district offices, and the rigid adherence to nasty attitudes by the people who are in charge of the build who don't even allow their workers /electricians plasterers etc even have a tea break, and who operate an ageism philosophy- by their dismissal procedures , needs investigating.

This white elephant has upset an enormous amount of people.
The disgraceful waste of taxpayers money which is the new West Dorset district offices, and the rigid adherence to nasty attitudes by the people who are in charge of the build who don't even allow their workers /electricians plasterers etc even have a tea break, and who operate an ageism philosophy- by their dismissal procedures , needs investigating. This white elephant has upset an enormous amount of people. Hardy Lass
  • Score: 0

6:54pm Thu 5 Jul 12

bootedsw says...

Surely a library needs a librarian and if the county has decided to replace them with voluteers these places are no longer libraries and are more like a collection of books.
Surely a library needs a librarian and if the county has decided to replace them with voluteers these places are no longer libraries and are more like a collection of books. bootedsw
  • Score: 0

4:09pm Sat 7 Jul 12

Nickodemus says...

Wrong! Sorry 'bootedsw'. A public library only becomes a mere collection of books when the Dorset Library Service completely abandons it as in the case of Portland Underhill. Please also define 'librarian'.
Wrong! Sorry 'bootedsw'. A public library only becomes a mere collection of books when the Dorset Library Service completely abandons it as in the case of Portland Underhill. Please also define 'librarian'. Nickodemus
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree