Puddletown first Dorset library to transfer to volunteers

Volunteers at Burton Bradstock library Volunteers are due to take over the management of seven libraries

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A Dorset village library, originally earmarked for closure, has been taken over by volunteers.

Puddletown Library is the first of seven facilities to transfer to community ownership.

Conservative-led Dorset County Council cut funding for nine of the county's 34 libraries in 2011 in a bid to save the authority £725,000

Former BBC chief news correspondent and Dorset resident Kate Adie helped with the official opening earlier.

'Local leadership'

Puddletown Library will be open four days a week, as it is now, staffed by a team of 28 unpaid volunteers.

Volunteer, Roy Bennet, a retired clergyman, said: "We've had plenty of training and we're ready to go - we're looking forward to the challenge."

Dates have also been agreed for the transfer of Chickerell, Wool, Colehill and Stalbridge libraries.

The libraries will be independent and self-governed, but supported with books and IT services from Dorset County Council in a deal worth £5,500 a year for each site.

Funds for rent, lighting, heating and insurance have to be raised by the volunteers.

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