Bagillt library faces axe over lack of local support

Reporter:

Helen Davies

THE future of a village library looks bleak because of a lack of support from residents for a community takeover.

Bagillt Library was earmarked for closure by Flintshire Council along with the Garden City and Gwernymynydd libraries after cuts of £10 million were made in its 2011/12 budget.

Hopes were raised that Bagillt Community Council may step in and help to keep it open.

The community council delivered questionnaires around the village asking people for their thoughts on the takeover, which would see residents each pay about £8 extra a year in local rates to cover the cost .

But a low level of returns of the forms means the library could close after all.

Bagillt councillor Mike Reece said: “There’s over 3,000 people in the village we were hoping to hear from, we were expecting to hear from a lot more.

“I don’t know whether people couldn’t be bothered to fill the form in or don’t want the rates to go up. Times are hard so it might be that.”

Just over 160 forms were returned, 5.5 per cent of those issued.

Of those who did return their forms, 34 said they did not support the community council funding the running costs of the library and five abstained from answering.

“We were disappointed, it’s not looking good,” said Cllr Reece.
 

“We thought more people would support us because the library is one of the last things in the village. We’ve had comments saying people don’t mind going to the libraries in Flint and Holywell instead.”

Bagillt Community Council will now consider the responses to the questionnaire and decide whether there is anything else they can do to save the library.

Lawrence Rawsthorne, head of culture and leisure at Flintshire Council, said: “No decision about the future of Bagillt Library will be made until we have received a formal response from Bagillt Community Council.”

See full story in the Leader

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