A TOWN council is handing over £4,000 of taxpayers money to help save the community’s threatened library.
Bedale town councillors agreed unanimously to contribute the money requested by volunteers setting up the new community library. They are taking over the running of the library after funding for staff was scrapped by North Yorkshire county council in the face of massive budget cuts.
Neighbouring parish councils are also giving money, Aiskew and Leeming Bar £2,000 and Crakehall £500, with further amounts from other villages.
Community Library Trust chair Andy Hallett, said: “Their contribution will help secure the financial viability in this critical first year.
“This unanimous decision reflects the clear support from the community for the project. These grants will allow us a bit of breathing space while we manage this challenging period of transition.”
Library trustee Liz Bostock said they had been overwhelmed after 120 volunteers offered to help in the Bedale area, more than for any other of the 21 community libraries which are having to take over services around North Yorkshire.
She added:”We don’t underestimate the task ahead, none us has ever run a library before. But the funding was a crucial part of the plan to get into place the new community library.
“We only have six weeks to go there are 30 volunteers undergoing training at the moment.”
North Yorkshire County Council leader Cllr Carl Les said: “I am really pleased that the communities are coming forward to support their libraries.
“The county council has lost 35 per cent of its budget so unfortunately we can’t do what we used to do.
“This is a perfect example of communities coming together and supporting services they believe are important and which sadly would be at risk of being lost.”
The group is appealing for supporters to join their new fund-raising group, the Friends of Bedale Community Library, at a special event to be held on March 2, at 7pm in Bedale Hall.
Award-winning Yorkshire writer David Young will give a talk and Nobby Dimon, of the North Country Theatre, will read from Hird’s Annals of Bedale.