Hope on horizon for Chinnor Library?

Chinnor Library
Chinnor Library

THE future looks a bit more promising for Chinnor Library under new plans put forward by Oxfordshire County Council.

The proposal, if ratified, will see the village library staffed two thirds by council paid workers and one third volunteers.

This increase in the number of paid workers comes after feedback from public consultation.

Thame Library is considered a core library and will remain fully staffed by council employees.

A decision on the proposal will be taken by the council’s Cabinet from 1pm on Monday, December 12, at County Hall, Oxford.

Councillor David Robertson, deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who contributed to the public consultation on the future of the library service in Oxfordshire, your views have been heard and we have changed and improved our proposal accordingly.

“We have come up with a model which would still see all 43 libraries remain open and, if the proposal is approved, it would be up to the community in some areas to come forward and assist in the future with the staffing of some libraries.

“We are certainly a million miles away from where we were 12 months ago, when we were proposing to cease funding 20 libraries. It was clear from the consultation feedback that there is a big appetite in our communities to keep libraries open and I am confident that people would come forward in the future and volunteer in the relevant libraries to help achieve this.

“Unfortunately we in Oxfordshire, like all areas of the country, are faced with having to make significant financial cutbacks across almost all areas of the services that we provide. It is impossible to exempt the Library Service from this, however we have proposed a plan that would see all our libraries remain operational.”

Mr Robertson said: “If this proposal is taken forward there would still be of course a huge amount of work to be done and the council would work very closely with Friends Groups and the local community to make sure that this process would run smoothly.

“It must be remembered that volunteers already play a huge part in running many services in Oxfordshire – hundreds of people already give their time to assist with many adult social service activities, such as volunteering in day centres, while volunteers have come recently forward to staff a number of youth clubs that were previously operated by the council.”