Li­brary’s ex­pan­sion plans put on hold

Ris­ing costs and fall in book us­age be­hind move

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Lor­can Lovett lor­can.lovett@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A VOL­UN­TEER-RUN li­brary has put plans to ex­pand on hold due to fi­nan­cial con­straints.

Chal­font St Giles Com­mu­nity Li­brary in High Street was granted plan­ning per­mis­sion to add more book space and a seat­ing area which could serve as a com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity.

Talks be­gan to im­ple­ment the project in 2012, how­ever the cost was un­der-es­ti­mated and prob­lems such as drainage have added to the to­tal.

The li­brary was sur­rounded with flood wa­ter ear­lier this year after ground wa­ter lev­els in­creased from fields above the build­ing.

It has also seen a de­crease in book is­sues but is still well-used by the vil­lage, said li­brary chair­man Tony Hoare.

He said: “We are go­ing to put plans to ex­pand on hold. It has turned out to be a lot more ex­pen­sive than we first thought.”

Mr Hoare said he es­ti­mated the project to be £150,000 yet that num­ber has risen by £100,000.

He said the project can be ‘brought back to life’ if the vil­lage and parish coun­cil called for it, and if it ob­tained the fi­nances.

He added: “In the eight years we have been open, the first five years saw the book us­age steadily in­crease.

“Last year and this year there has been a de­cline and it’s almost ex­actly in line with the de­cline across the county and coun­try.

“No­body knows how li­braries are go­ing to de­velop.

“Across the whole coun­try fewer peo­ple are go­ing to the li­brary and fewer books are be­ing bor­rowed, but it is still used by a large num­ber of peo­ple and I think they would be deeply up­set if the li­brary were not there.”

The li­brary was launched by vol­un­teers in 2007 fol­low­ing the clo­sure of the county li­brary the year be­fore.

Wi-fi was in­stalled on the premises ear­lier this year and peo­ple are also en­cour­aged to use its two com­put­ers as well as bor­row books.

Do you think li­braries need more support? Or has tech­nol­ogy re­placed li­brary ser­vices? Con­tact us at buck­snews@ trin­i­tysouth.co.uk. ABOUT 50 groups at­tended the launch of a new ad­vice ser­vice at Chiltern Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau, St Peter’s Cen­tre, Iver on Fri­day.

CAN is a new ad­vice ser­vice for the Chiltern and South Bucks area. Funded by the Big Lot­tery, it is a part­ner­ship of lo­cal vol­un­tary ad­vice agen­cies, co-or­di­nated by Chiltern Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau. The other part­ners are Age UK Buck­ing­hamshire, MIND Buck­ing­hamshire, Car­ers Bucks and Bucks Float­ing Support.

Jan Ash­worth, CAN project de­vel­op­ment man­ager said: “Thanks to the ex­per­tise of our vol­un­teers, staff and part­ners the CCAB CAN project is al­ready be­ing looked at as a valu­able as­set to those who are ac­cess­ing and us­ing the serv and pro­vid­ing us with very pos­i­tive feed­back.”

MP Do­minic Grieve said: “Prob­a­bly, in terms of free le­gal ad­vice, this is the sin­gle big­gest char­i­ta­ble ac­tiv­ity tak­ing place in the UK to­day, in terms of value, although few re­alise this as it’s peo­ple giv­ing up their time rather more than their money.”

Call 300 323 0121.

AD­VICE: MP Do­minic Grieve ad­dresses the new group

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