Devon

Ashburton Library could move into post office

Ashburton library and post office
Image caption Ashburton Library could be moved into the post office under cost-cutting proposals

A Devon library, which is one of 28 facing closure, could move into a post office to try and safeguard its future.

Ashburton is one of the county's small libraries facing the axe because of budget cuts.

Devon County Council has told local communities if they want to keep their libraries then they need to get more involved in running them.

Friends of Ashburton Library say moving it into the post office would benefit both parties.

Mike Cranmer, from the group, said: "Ashburton is threatened with losing its library that it has had for over 100 years. That cannot be allowed to happen.

"The only way forward is to go into the post office and join with them and use the building."

'Not right'

The Conservative-controlled authority says it needs to save £1.5m from the library service as part of plans to save £110m by 2017 as a result of government spending cuts.

It says 28 of its 50 libraries - in places ranging from Appledore to Axminster, and Bampton to Buckfastleigh - need to be run by local communities.

The council revealed the proposed cuts in April, outlining plans to rename the remaining 22 libraries Devon Centres, offering "access to wider cultural activity alongside a wider range of complementary community services".

Rachel Gilmour, a town councillor in Bampton, said: "It's important for all communities in Devon to retain their libraries and if push comes to shove, to do it ourselves.

"But that does not make it right."

So far 9,000 people have responded to a consultation on the issue.

A council spokesman said: "No decisions have been made yet about Ashburton or any of our libraries.

"The recent consultation has gone extremely well, and we're in the process of reflecting the feedback in a report that will go to the Council's Cabinet Committee early next month.

"In the meantime, the we're looking open-mindedly at the results and continuing our conversations with local groups."

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