Villagers’ bid to save their library

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A PARISH council is considering taking over a village library which has been earmarked for closure.

Woodford-cum-Membris Parish Council is looking to take on the running of the library in School Street as a co-operative venture. The library, which is open five days a week, is one of eight libraries across the county facing the axe.

The proposal is part of efforts by Northamptonshire County Council to save £73 million.

An extraordinary parish council meeting was due to be held on Tuesday night but was cancelled because no agreement had been reached on what help the village would get from NCC.

Bernadette Rogers, chairman of the parish council, said: “We are the landlords of the library so we get some rent from the county council. If the library was to close, this income would be taken away from us.

“The library is a very important facility for the people in the village and if we can reach an agreement, then I think it is something which we will consider looking to keep open.”

She was also full of praise for the county councillor for the area in helping them with their bid.

Cllr Rogers said: “We have a magnificent county councillor in Gina Ogden who is working very hard for us to make sure the library does stay open.

“It is too early to say whether we will be able to save the library but at the moment we are considering all of the options that are open to us.”

She also confirmed the public would be able to have their say on any plans to take over the library.

Cllr Rogers added: “If we get some more information about what we can do before next week, then I imagine the plans will be discussed at our next parish council meeting to be held on Tuesday where people can have their say.

“If it is after that, then we shall have to look at calling another extraordinary meeting.”

The attempts from the parish council come as authors have been staging protests at other libraries which are threatened with closure.

The other libraries under threat of closure include St James in Northampton, Moulton and Roade.

There was another attempt to close Woodford Halse library in 2006 but it was saved after villagers put together a petition pressure on NCC.