Libraries Strategy

2. Community Libraries and community-run Mobile Library

As part of the library strategy, the difficult decision was made to close Langney, Mayfield, Ore, Pevensey Bay, Polegate, Ringmer and Willingdon Libraries on Saturday 5 May 2018. The Mobile Library Service and financial support to Northiam Village Library also stopped on this day.

Cabinet agreed to delegate authority to the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport, in consultation with the Assistant Chief Executive, to consider any viable community proposals to take over the running of the seven libraries which closed, or the Mobile Library, and to enter into appropriate agreements on behalf of the County Council.

We invited expressions of interest from communities interested in submitting proposals to take over the running of one of the seven libraries which closed, or the Mobile Library. This process was only applicable where it would involve the use of either County Council assets or purchase of our services. The deadline for submitting proposals was 30 April 2018.

Final Proposals

We received proposals for the following:

Langney Library

Ore Library

Pevensey Bay Library

Polegate Library

Ringmer Library

Willingdon Library

We evaluated the proposals and of the seven libraries which closed, Ringmer has already reopened as a community-run library, run by the Ringmer Village Hall Management Committee, while Langney, Ore, Pevensey Bay, Polegate and Willingdon will reopen in the weeks and months to come. Langney, Ore, Pevensey Bay and Willingdon will operate as volunteer-run community libraries, with Langney run by Langney Community Library Steering Group, Ore run by Ore Community Association, Pevensey Bay by Volunteers Network and Willingdon by Willingdon & Jevington Parish Council.

Meanwhile, 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.

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