Town council plans to buy Burton Latimer library to secure its future

There could be good news for library users in Burton Latimer as the town council is proposing to buy the building to make it safe from county council plans to cut its library provision.

Monday, 28th January 2019, 12:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:26 pm
The town council's plans to buy the library will be put before residents at a meeting being held tomorrow evening.

The town council will put forward its plan at a public meeting being held tomorrow (Jan 29) evening.

The council wants agreement from the community before it forges ahead with buying the building in High Street and setting up a new service which may include paid staff.

The county council is currently consulting on a proposal to cut back its statutory library provision from 36 to 19 and hand over the rest to community groups to run.

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Burton Latimer library had originally been on the safe list of 19 but under the county county council’s new review the library had been removed from statutory protection. This means that community libraries that don’t work could be closed.

Burton Latimer councillor Fergus Macdonald said the finance details would be revealed at the public meeting and that the council wants to take over the library from July.

He said: “The whole town council approves of the plan and we are now putting it forward to residents to have their say.

“We have put in a letter of intent to the county council regarding the purchase although they will not be able to respond until the consultation has ended.”

The consultation is due to finish on February 8.

The county council’s cabinet will then make a decision in May about whether to hand over 22 libraries to community groups. Five of these community libraries will receive statutory protection.

Burton Latimer library, which has been running since 1974, is one of 12 owned by the county council. It is not known how much the authority has asked the town council to pay for the building.

The meeting is taking place at Meadowside Primary school in Park Road from 7.30pm.