Outraged villagers hit out at library closure

Chinnor library under threat of closure
Chinnor library under threat of closure

VILLAGERS turned out in force on Wednesday night as they showed their disgust at the possible closure of Chinnor Library.

A capacity of 120 people were at St Andrews School for the consultation and a further 50 had to be turned away after it was announced that the library was under threat of closure.

Key members of the Oxfordshire County Council, who will be making the final decision, were present to answer questions put forward and witnessed first hand the strength of feeling within the community.

Chinnor Parish Council clerk Liz Folley said: “We are so pleased the community have come out together to support this and we hope that from this we can work forward to try and save the library.

“This shows that there is a need for the library and what has come out tonight is that the overwhelming view is we want to keep the library open at reduced opening hours and it can be helped out by volunteers.”

This opinion was confirmed at the end when a vote unanimously showed it to be the preferred way forward and showed that the community were willing to group together in order to save their library.

It was felt this option would also mean taxpayers of Chinnor would not have to lose a service for which they are paying just to fund other libraries.

But Leader of the county council, Keith Mitchell, was at the meeting and confirmed that closing Chinnor and another 19 libraries was his preferred way to make the cuts.

The other alternative is to slash library budgets by 25 per cent across the board, which would affect the larger ones such as Thame, Watlington and Oxford.

Mr Mitchell said he believes this would affect more people and will have more of an adverse impact as each library would then be forced to reduce it’s opening hours by at least 30 per cent.

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