Hampshire County Council are consulting on ending their connection with North Baddesley Community Library. The proposals would mean it wasn’t a HCC library in any way any more. In practice the library might have to close without the connection to the Hampshire library network.
Concerned residents can fill in a consultation online or on paper at the Library or All Saints Church.
Irene Knight, Library Trustee said ‘I don’t really think Hampshire County Council are very library minded I think they just run it as a business. So they just, you know, some do come along and do a bit of an analysis and think, Oh, this isn’t doing very well either let’s put all the prices up or close something but they’re not really thinking of the overall ethos of a library and and how it is beneficial to society’
The library is already wholly run by the community who also rent the library venue. These proposed changes would mean volunteers would also have to raise funds to purchase new stock and organise a loan system and IT provision.
The consultation has opened during the period when the library can break their lease with Aster.Knight said ‘what’s caused the stress is that we rent the building from Aster… if we want to take advantage of that break, which would mean we’d have to vacate the premise on the first of May, but of course, we’ve not got all the information to even make all these decisions’.
This consultation is one of several that HCC are running as part of their Transition to 2020 programme. This cuts and reorganisation programme is aimed at keeping the council in reasonable financial health. The cuts are happening primarily because of decreases central government funding to the council and increasing demands on some areas of its services, especially Adult Social Care.