Group forms to fight for library

file pic, Hunmanby Library.  picture by Andrew Higgins  112247b   02/06/11
file pic, Hunmanby Library. picture by Andrew Higgins 112247b 02/06/11

THE fight to save a Scarborough library from the axe has received new vigour.

Supporters of Ayton Library have formed a steering group to safeguard the immediate future of the under-threat facility.

Drop Folder News/Atex News. 18/11/10. Pic Kevin Allen.'Ayton Library exterior.'104643a.

Drop Folder News/Atex News. 18/11/10. Pic Kevin Allen.'Ayton Library exterior.'104643a.

The group are currently thrashing out a business plan to formulate suggestions on a community-led scheme to maintain the library, after huge North Yorkshire County Council financial cutbacks.

The library faces potential closure alongside facilities in Scalby, Eastfield and Hunmanby if vital community-based support does not materialise.

Supporters have also been boosted after a judge in Somerset placed an injunction upon the county council to stop any closures until September.

The move sets a precedent in the fight and signals the tone of national ill-feeling towards library withdrawals, with the action now potentially able to be transferred to the Scarborough area.

Cllr David Jeffels, who has been working to save Ayton Library, said the steering group had given the battle to save the library fresh impetus.

He said: “There is a very positive attitude towards saving Ayton Library and a lot of enthusiasm in keeping the facility going.

“I have written to all of the neighbouring parish councils, including those along the A64 such as Sherburn, Ganton, and Heslerton, because a lot of people in those villages use our library.

“The biggest users of the library are youngsters and the children have been really supportive.

“Their attitude has spurred people on and it has been great to see because while other library users can get in the car or jump on the bus and go to facilities elsewhere, it’s not the same for primary school children.

“They use it as a homework base because of the computers but it would be a real asset all round if we can keep the library going.

“We all realise the situation with cutbacks.

“However, it would be a huge boost if we could maintain the library and possibly expand upon its current facilities and even upgrade them too.”

“There is still a long way to go but the signs at the moment are encouraging.”

Cllr Nick Harvey, who has fought for Hunmanby Library’s future since last year’s shock announcement, welcomed the West Country news, and said the fight had to be continued for residents’ and the village’s sake.

He said: “It is really positive that the judge has stopped Somerset in their tracks.

“It means that the officials at the top cannot just steamroller their way through and make the decisions.”

Supporters of Hunmanby Library have also set up their own group to save the facility.

The Hunmanby Hub Steering Group – recently formed out of the Friends of Hunmanby Library – are due to meet tomorrow to discuss the next phase in their plans to save the library.

The libraries were handed a lifeline in February this year, when the county council revealed a £650,000 pot had been created to give more time to reshape library services.

However, council bosses have remained steadfast in their stance that community involvement and voluntary schemes must be taken on by libraries, or closures could ensue from as early as next year.