Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Library fight near to victory
NEWS this week that there could be a change of heart at County Hall over the disgraceful handling of the pending closure of 20 libraries in Dorset.
It would seem that ten of those under threat, including Lyme Regis, could be saved but things still look bleak for Charmouth.
Ad Lib, the organisation set up to fight the closure of the libraries, issued a press statement on Monday afternoon stating that the county library service had had a change of heart and were recommending that Lyme Regis library should be saved from closure.
Dorset County Council also issued a press statement the following morning which was not so categoric. The county angle was that, following public consultation, a number of options were now open to county councillors to make a decision next week, to be ratified by the cabinet and full council in July.
One of these options is to retain 24 libraries, including Lyme Regis, but offering the remaining ten, including Charmouth, to local communities to own and manage with support from the county council.
Our county councillor, Colonel Geoffery Brierley, who has played a blinder on the issue, maintained all along that the Lyme library would be saved.
When the plan to close libaries was announced Lyme, after a slow start, set up an action group under the auspices of Lyme Regis Development Trust and supported by Lyme Regis Town Council.
The group has been led with great enthusiasm and industry by town councillor Lorna Jen-kin and new member Anita Williams, encouraged and advised by Wendy Davies, chairman of the Development Trust.
Anita has been particularly pro-active in generating publicity and probably secured her place on the new town council because of her work on the libary issue.
Both councillors Jenkin and Williams have welcomed the news that the Lyme library might have been reprieved but have stressed that the fight goes on until the full county council makes the final decision on July 20th.
In a bid to come up with a plan to protect library services in the town, it was announced at the recent annual meeting of the Development Trust that discussions were taking place with interested parties, including St Michael’s Church, about the library moving into a newly-created space at the back of The Hub youth club in Church Street which would also be used as a study centre.
This could then release the present library site in Silver Street for affordable housing.
The View understands that the proposal to retain the library, as announced by Ad Lib, would mean it would stay in its present location but the action group intends to contuinue its negotiations with its partners to “deliver their library vision”.
The county’s bid to save £800,000 from its budget could not have been handled in a more crass and unjust manner.
Libraries are not just for people who live in the bigger towns and any reduction in services should have been spread across all libraries and not limited to the smaller ones. Then there is the bizarre revelation that Dorset County Council pays more for its books than Poole Borough. How come?
Lorna Jenkin and Anita Williams have done a brilliant job in fighting this injustice and hopefully their efforts will be fully recognised when the county council meets in July.
Wetherspoons are NOT coming to Lyme
GREAT excitement among Lyme’s drinking fraternity last week when notices went up in Broad Street saying that the pub chain Wetherspoons was coming to the town, a rumour that regurgitates itself with monotonous regularity.
Within minutes of the notices going up Facebook was naming premises and welcoming the cut-price pub chain.
Sorry to tell you, but Wetherspoons have categorically denied that they are on the verge of opening a pub in Lyme. And they certainly will not be moving into Lloyds Bank (as the above notice displayed at the bank confirms).
EVENT OF THE WEEK...
SOCIAL event of the weekend was definitely Lee Caddy’s 50th birthday bash at the Golf Club on Saturday evening.
As a former player and chairman of Lyme Regis Football Club, and a keen golfer, the party, superbly organised by Lee’s girlfriend, photographer Lynnette Ravenscroft, was graced by some of the town’s most high profile sportsmen over the years, including the likes of Richard Austin, Brendon Cable, Owen Bosence, Martin Rowe and Stuart Rattenbury.
It was great to join such company in chatting over the days we played for the Seasiders and Lee demonstrated his ongoing commitment to the club by raising £600 towards the Davey Fort refurbishment.