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THIS WEEK Goosie Gander comes to the Wallsend Ground

COMMUNITY Westham Village campaigners argue for “better resolution for our very treasured pond”

BUSINESS Harper Hair Co. lands in Pevensey Bay

Chapter and verso, the continuing story of the fight to save Pevensey Bay Library
This morning, (2 November), the Friends of Pevensey Bay Library, the powerful and articulate local lobby group, responsible for seeing that the question of the future of the local  library remains high on the East Sussex County Council agenda, issued a media release with a clarification of their position. Their thinking with regard to their proposal to set up a charitable trust, to enable joint funding of the current service by the different local authorities, is inspired. They have consistently argued the case for ‘joined up thinking’. A charitable trust runs library services for the county of Devon. Such a strategy, could not only provide a framework for the library here in Pevensey Bay, but a possible framework for the whole county. Such a framework could see a local library fit for the 21st century. If, we are moving towards that trust status, then the path to light our way, with map and compass as our guide, will have been chartered by the Friends of Pevensey Bay Library.
—Bay Life, 2 November 2017


2 November 2017

Huw Merriman has renamed the joint working party on the library, Pevensey Bay Library Action Group, and has issued a press release referring to its aim of persuading the County Council to continue funding the library. Unfortunately, it then goes on to say Plans are also being made to find a way of transferring the running of the library to the local community if the funding is withdrawn. FPBL are unaware of what these Plans are, and indeed making such plans at this stage would undermine the case that is being made by FPBL for the County to continue funding the current library.

Following the suggestion that was put forward at September’s public meeting, FPBL are proposing setting up a charitable trust to enable joint funding of the current service by the different local authorities on the working party. They are campaigning to keep the current library run by the County Council, with an expanded role for volunteers to work alongside this.

If between them the local authorities are unwilling to help maintain the current library in Pevensey Bay, in the New Year, after the results of consultation on the library strategy have been considered by the County Council’s committee, there will be time enough for the community to draw up plans for a volunteer led community library should there be enough people interested in doing this. This will take library services, in the Bay back to the level provided in the 1960s. We would lose the new computers and the networked system that gives access to the county council’s entire bookstock.

The aim of FPBL has always been to campaign for improved public library services in Pevensey Bay and to protect the service for generations to come. A volunteer led library service independent of the County Council is a proposal of last resort and not one that FPBL are currently working on.

“It is of paramount importance during the consultation period on the library strategy to make the case for encouraging the county council to continue with some funding for the library services that we have,” says FPBL spokesperson, Margaret Martin. “So, please do submit your objections before 14 December and help build the ‘wall of noise’ that Huw Merriman, MP spoke about. Check out our website www.friendsofpevenseybaylibrary.org for more information on FPBL’s objections to the county council’s strategy and do feel free to use these in any letters that you write.”

“I would like to remind everyone that we are not part of any political party but we are grateful for the assistance of our MP. We hope that Huw Merriman will continue to argue the case for continued funding of the library by the County Council and that he will make strong representations on this within his own political party. “

Meanwhile, Pevensey Parish Council will be meeting on Tuesday, 7 November at St Wilfrids Hall at 7:00pm and the proposed library closure is once again on their agenda. Residents are allowed to speak, so it is important that they go along and encourage the Parish Council to make strong representations over the County Council’s proposed withdrawal of funding for the library.

Friends of Pevensey Bay Library