Library’s future safe despite parish council office snub
PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 September 2017
North Somerset Council has been dealt a financial blow after Yatton Parish Council voted not to run its office from the revamped village library.
Parish councillors voted to keep its office at Hangstones Pavilion permanently, having moved there temporarily in April so the library could be overhauled.
North Somerset expected the parish council to return once the project was finished, in a deal worth £85,000.
Such was its confidence that the 10-year lease would be signed, signs for the parish council’s office were put up inside and outside the library.
The library’s future is not in jeopardy despite the financial loss, the Times has been told.
Parish councillors were concerned plans to introduce a self-service swipe card system at the library may impact on their staff’s safety and work.
However, the main motivation to stay at Hangstones is financial.
Cllr Robert Jenner said the £8,500 saved annually could fund improvements at Hangstones and still save the council money.
He added: “I’d like us to remain at Hangstones as it’s our building and we have full control over it.”
Other councillors said it would make sense to have all staff in one building and Hangstones offers more parking.
Parish clerk Aleana Baird said the facilities at Hangstones are better than when council staff moved to the library a decade ago.
Chairman Theresa Mullan led calls for the authority to return to the library as she had been told the rent money helps to provide a sustainable library service in the village. However, her views were not shared by the majority of members who voted to stay at Hangstones, although it will aim to hold a regular surgery at the library.
A North Somerset spokesman said the two authorities will ‘continue to work together to help provide first-class services’.
He said: “The loss of income will not have a significant impact on the revenue budgets of either the library service or North Somerset Council generally, and there will be no need to make any further cuts or savings to library services in the village as a result.
“The room previously occupied by the parish council will initially be available for hire, but in the longer term the council will look to re-let the room.”
Interested parties can email the libraries manager at firstname.lastname@example.org