Future of St Just Library secured

St Just Library has been safeguarded for the community as part of a new partnership between Cornwall Council and St Just Town Council.

Under the agreement the library will transfer to the Town Council after alterations have been completed.

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It means the Town Council office will be relocated in part of the library building so visitors can access a range of services in one location.

The work starts this week and will include re-roofing the central flat roof, replacing the entrance porch, remodelling the library space and creating new office space for the Town Council. 

The work is due to be completed in six weeks, during which time St Just Library will be closed temporarily.

During the closure, library users can borrow extra books for an extended time and no overdue charges will be incurred. People can also visit other libraries in Cornwall. 

Reservations and renewals can still be made online at https://capitadiscovery.co.uk/cornwall/login and loans can be collected from alternative libraries, the closest of which are Penzance and St Ives.

Under the new partnership, which is part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme, St Just Library will continue to provide all the key services essential to a modern library as well as offering the potential to increase access to a range of Town Council services.

St Just Library will remain part of the countywide service meaning customers will keep their existing library cards and can still visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.

St Just Town Mayor Marna Blundy said: “Whilst we’re all sorry about the inconvenience caused to library users for the next few weeks because of the temporary closure, these works are of course necessary to prepare the building for a promising future which we hope will benefit everyone in our community.  I’m looking forward to supporting our library staff and volunteers in delivering the best possible service here.”

St Just Cornwall Councillor Sue James said: “Residents who have been following the story of St Just Library will have been with me on every twist and turn since about 2012, when we tried unsuccessfully to stop the reduction of hours. This next chapter brings the Library under local control so the Town Council, Library staff, Library users and our wider population of residents will need to work together to shape services there.“

Like all local authorities throughout the UK, Cornwall Council has had some tough decisions to make when faced with substantial cuts in funding from central Government.

Rather than close libraries, however, the Council has worked with town and parish councils and community groups throughout Cornwall to transfer ownership of these much-loved services to local communities.

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “We are delighted that St Just Town Council has agreed to take on the local library at St Just which protects this valuable service for the community for the future. In other towns where libraries have already been transferred the local services are not only protected but being developed with refurbished buildings, increased opening hours and more services being delivered.

“We apologise for any inconvenience during the remodelling of the library. The result will be that residents of St Just will have a streamlined library building that is safeguarded for the future as well having their Town Council services all under one roof.”