Library’s expansion plans put on hold
Rising costs and fall in book usage behind move
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