Community to take on library in North Baddesley
Thursday, 06 December 2012
Hampshire County Council is working alongside the community in North Baddesley to help safeguard the future of their local library building.
At his Decision Day (5 December), the County Council's Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, Councillor Keith Chapman approved plans to transfer the running of the building to a local group - the Friends of North Baddesley Library (FONBL) by 31 March 2013.
As one of Hampshire's least used libraries, North Baddesley has an average of just 163 borrowers a month, and a third fewer book issues now, compared to five years ago. As part of efforts to continue to provide a cost-effective library service for local people in the face of ongoing financial challenges, a mobile library option was presented to the community in the Summer. However following further consultation, the Parish Council expressed an interest in retaining use of the current library building in Willis Avenue.
The Hampshire Library Service has therefore been working closely with FONBL who are currently applying for charitable status, and the Parish Council, and the new arrangements would see the County Council continue to provide books and support to the local group and their volunteers, when they take over running the building.
Councillor Chapman said: "By listening to the local community and working alongside them, we have been able to find a solution that could ensure that the library building in North Baddesley remains in use. This is a really positive outcome and I'm very pleased that by working together, we have developed a possible solution that could meet the needs of residents and ensure that there is no reduction in the level of service provided to the people of North Baddesley."