Now managed by WAP
Wiveliscombe Area Partnership and
the Wivey Library
Contracts were signed on the 8th March, putting Wiveliscombe Library in the control of local residents.
Just over a year ago we heard that Somerset County Council was planning to close the library. Our campaign to save the library focused on the belief that public services should be run by the public sector (i.e. the County Council). But we were not successful – a combination of funding cuts from central government and a Council that does not believe in public services meant that a small rural community was never going to be able to keep its own library. We were therefore forced to fall back on the DIY option.
The County said it was willing to support us running the library if we took on overall responsibility. We would have to raise a significant part of the costs ourselves and be responsible for the building. The only way to realistically cover the costs year after year was to get the Town Council and neighbouring parish councils to use their local taxes. That sounds simple but no end of devils were found lurking in the details and it took a huge effort to put them back where they belong. But in February the decisions were made and the library was saved.
This week was the culmination of over a year of campaigning. The library is now the responsibility of Wiveliscombe Area Partnership. They will receive an annual grant from the Town Council which will be used to contract the County Council to provide the library services we need, want and deserve.
Karen, our wonderful librarian, is enthusiastic about the future. There will be lots of opportunities to grow and develop services in a way that was not possible when the County was fully responsible for the library and that will all help make Wiveliscombe an even better place to live.
Thank you for all your support and the help that has got us to where we are today.
Seen here at the all-important signing ceremony are representatives from Somerset County Council, Wiveliscombe Town Council and Wiveliscombe Area Partnership.