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Higham Ferrers Town Council

Serving the people of Higham Ferrers

Mayor 2018/19

Clerk: Mrs Sandra Mitcham
The Town Hall, Market Square
Higham Ferrers
Northamptonshire NN10 8BT

Tel: 01933 312075

No Decision yet on the future of Higham Ferrers Library

Posted: Thu, 01 Feb 2018 15:20 by Sandra Mitcham

No Decision yet on the future of Higham Ferrers Library

Saturday 13th January is the deadline for responses to the consultation on the future of the Library and Information Service currently delivered by Northamptonshire County Council. Option 1 allows for the delivery of the library services in Higham Ferrers as a community managed service. Option 2 and 3 mean that Library will close. Their final decision will be on 22nd February.

The Town Council have undertaken their own consultation, which has had 423 responses. 95% want the Library to stay open and 80% support an increase in the council tax to facilitate this. Comments such as "It is about more than books, it is a community hub and is a great place for children and parents" and "this service was very important in my recovery from depression…" were also received.

At their meeting on 19th December the Town Council agreed to express an 'Informal Expression of Interest' in taking over the library. This does not mean it is certain that the Town Council will manage the library, but the decision was taken to keep the door open to the possibility. This decision had to be made without all the full facts including the market valuation for the library which was only received last week from the county council. The valuation is £367,500 to buy or £33,000 to lease. Just to lease will be a 9.4% increase on the current budget without any running costs. Over the next few weeks the council will be gathering more information and costs on taking over the library and building. The Town Council is also conscious that the building will require works, as it has not been proactively maintained which will be another strain on resources.

The Town Council understand that should the County Council agree to option 1 a formal expression of interest will have to be submitted by 31st March.

For more information on what actions the Town Council is taking on the Library please go to www.highamferrers-tc.gov.uk or contact the Town Hall.

Tags: Library, News