Parish council in bid to take over threatened library

Edenthorpe Parish Council chairman John Howard, pictured inside Edenthorpe Library. Picture: Liz Mockler D1329LM
Edenthorpe Parish Council chairman John Howard, pictured inside Edenthorpe Library. Picture: Liz Mockler D1329LM

EDENTHORPE Parish Council is involved in a bid to take over the village’s library, which is due to close in March.

However, though the authority says it is playing it by the book, it claims Doncaster Council is keeping vital information between the covers.

It has said that it has repeatedly asked for vital information about the financial implications of running the library from DMBC, the details have still not been released.

Parish council chairman John Howard told the Free Press: “Our library has always been threatened with closure, even before the current cuts, as the property is rented.

“We have contacted the community about it and got a great response, with many people saying they would be prepared to make a financial contribution to keep it open.

“We’d love to be able to keep the library going but, as a parish council, we have limited resources.

“We have contacted DMBC about issues such if we would be expected to provide computers and pay licences for the use of equipment and the council has never come up with answers – and we just can’t go into things blind. We also can’t go the community asking for money without knowing what the true costings are.”

The parish council recently conducted a survey into all Doncaster’s libraries and discovered that Edenthorpe – which is only open 18 hours a week – loaned more books per hour than any of Doncaster’s other 25 branch libraries.

It also contacted 2,200 people in the parish to ask them for their views on retaining the library – it received 800 replies, with 70 per cent of those saying they would be prepared to give financial support to keep it open. “We’ve talked to the library’s landlord and we’d love to keep it going,” said Mr Howard. “However, we do need this information before we can make any concrete plans.”

Simon Wiles, DMBC’s director of corporate services, said: “Doncaster Council has worked closely with Edenthorpe Parish Council throughout this process and met with the chair of the parish council on a number of occasions.

“We are happy to share information relating to the library with the parish council as well as information on book stock, provision of computer equipment and supply of staff to run library events. We hope to continue working closely with members to enable Edenthorpe library to become a successful community-led service.”