Re-opening of Polegate library given green light

Plans to reopen five recently closed libraries as community-run facilities have been given the go-ahead.

Polegate Town Council will pay the county council to run a community library offering a very similar range of services to that provided when it was run by the county, with the long-term aim of establishing a volunteer-run library.

Libraries at Ore, Pevensey Bay, and Willingdon will also open as community libraries following a decision by Cllr David Elkin, East Sussex County Council lead member for resources.

These are in addition to Ringmer Library which opened as a community library recently.

The five were among seven libraries which closed last month following a major review of the county library service prompted by the need for savings due to Government funding cuts and changes to the way people use libraries.

Tom Briggs (pictured), member of Save Polegate Library campaign told us; “We’re delighted that Polegate Library is reopening. The voices of local people have finally been listened to and it’s brilliant that this vital resource is being restored to the community.”

Cllr Elkin said: “We’re delighted to be able to agree these very exciting plans for community libraries and look forward to them opening in the next few months.

“Closing libraries was a very difficult decision prompted by the severe financial pressures we’re under and the changing way in which people access library services, but we’ve always been committed to working with communities that wanted to retain a library in their town or village.

“Selling off or transferring the lease of these buildings would have generated a considerable amount of income for the council, but we recognise the value these community libraries will provide.

“The new community libraries will make a real difference to the people they serve, providing a valued service and bringing people together.”

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