Discussions continue to secure future of Padstow Library

The future of Padstow Library is being explored as Cornwall Council continues to explore a sustainable and long-term service for residents.

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

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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.

At 1pm on April 5 Padstow Library will close in its current form and a mobile service will be introduced as an interim solution while options are developed with the community and voluntary groups.

The temporary mobile library service will be located in the Link Road car park weekly at a time to be announced from the week beginning April 8.

The mobile library van will provide free Wi-Fi access, linked to the internet via a router and signal booster and be equipped with a Cornwall Council public use laptop as well as a space for a second person to use their own equipment.  

The interim mobile stop will maintain access to library services for the town with around 2,500 adult and children’s books along with talking books and a range of large print books for those with audio or visual impairment.

Customers can also use the ‘Click and Collect’ service to reserve books, DVDs and music CDs free online for collection from the mobile library.  

Mobile library staff can answer questions, provide a referral service and show customers how to access library and Council services online.

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “We are committed to providing a sustainable library service in Padstow which meets the needs of the town and ensures access to books for all residents.

"We’re in detailed discussions with community and voluntary groups to explore ways the library can be managed in the future so all local residents can continue enjoying their library for many years to come.

"We are grateful to Padstow Town Council for all their support in discussions.”

Councillor Higman, Chairman of Padstow Town Council, said: “The Town Council endorsed the interim mobile stop library. However, as a key stakeholder, the Town Council is keen to explore other options for the future provision of the library service and welcomes the support from volunteers within the community via the Padstow Area Library Support group (PALS) in working together on this issue.” 

Padstow Town Council’s Clerk Kathy Pemberton said: “The Town Council had put in an offer to purchase the Core Building, which currently houses the library, to protect this asset and retain it for the whole community.

“The offer of a free space of the Town Council’s Chamber has been made to Cornwall Council for reading events, such as the Summer Reading Challenge and steps are being made to progress with public use computers at the Town Council Offices.”  

Mollie Goodman from PALS said: “We have been in regular discussions with Cornwall Council and Padstow Town Council in regard to the library service for the Padstow area. To that end, closure has been postponed until now and while the interim measures are in place we will continue to engage with both Councils over the coming months with the aim to secure a long term solution.”