Library future in hands of helpers

A sign of the times, cuts could force Chinnor Library to close but volunteers can save the day.
A sign of the times, cuts could force Chinnor Library to close but volunteers can save the day.

THE job of saving Chinnor Library looks certain to be in the hands of the public after it emerged one of the county council’s solutions is not viable.

In a meeting last week, Oxfordshire County Councillor Keith Mitchell suggested Chinnor Parish Council should increase its precepts. But this cannot be done as the budget for 2010/11 has already been submitted.

The parish council could not include the proposed cuts into this budget as the decision to cut libraries was not made in time.

Parish council clerk Liz Folley said: “It is very difficult because by law we can only have a limited fund and we have already had to submit our budget for the year 2011/12 and that was prior to us knowing exactly how much is going to be needed for this situation.”

To help with the issue, the parish council may be able to increase the fees in its budget next year, but residents would be consulted before any decision is made.

Mrs Folley said: “The thing is, people are already paying for their local library through the tax they pay to the county council and so by increasing the precept it will mean that they are effectively paying for it twice so we will give a full survey to the residents before we do anything.”

It now looks like the best way to save the library will be to rely on volunteers and a large number have signed up already.

So far 60 villagers have come forward to say they are willing to help out and it is a route the parish council is keen to explore.

There will now be a meeting on March 3 for the group to discuss how they can keep the library open.

More people are still sought to help out in the fight so if you can give some of your time email chinnorpc@btinternet.com