Thrapston Town Council withdraws from library purchase

The town council had been trying to secure the building's future as a community hub

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 1:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 1:24 pm
Thrapston library

Thrapston Town Council has decided to withdraw from a deal to buy the town's library building.

In March 2018, the council had agreed to purchase the library building and surrounding land to secure it as a public asset for the town.

It was hoped to use the premises as a community hub but the council has assured the public a library service will continue in Thrapston.

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A spokesman for Thrapston Town Council said: "Thrapston Town Council has made the decision to withdraw from the purchase of Thrapston Library, despite spending the last two years proactively trying to secure the building as a public asset for the benefit of the town.

"It has been the town council’s strategic plan to seek to develop a community hub for the town as a place of many uses for its residents, including a library provision.

"When the library building became available to the town council to purchase, it was felt that this was a good central location and would be a great asset.

"Meetings were held with Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) and heads of terms drafted.

"The heads of terms unfortunately have not been agreed and there was no room for negotiation on the side of the county council.

"The heads of terms as drafted were heavily in favour of the county council and on the advice of our solicitor they do not make for a good deal for the town council or the residents of Thrapston.

"As such, a decision was made at the town council meeting in January to withdraw from the purchase of the library building."

Thrapston library had been ear.marked as one of the five county libraries that would be community managed with NCC support.

The spokeman added: "Northamptonshire County Council has a statutory duty to continue to deliver a library service in Thrapston - a minimum of 12 hours per week - so rest assured, a library service will continue in Thrapston.

"In the meantime the town council will continue to investigate opportunities to develop a community hub in Thrapston.

"The town council wishes to thank everyone involved in the library process over the last two years for their support and assistance and gives thanks to Northamptonshire County Council’s staff for their time at meetings and in dealing with correspondence."

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: "Thrapston Library is part of our statutory library provision earmarked to be run by the local community.

"We remain committed to this and are looking at what options are available to deliver this.

“Standard heads of terms were drafted for Thrapston which dealt with the sale of the building as an initial focus, with a view to dealing with future decisions around the transformation of the building into a community hub at a later stage.

“At the heart of the heads of terms was an assurance that the library provision would continue.

“We continue to be open to discussions.”