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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 08:35 GMT
Libraries axed in spending review
Library campaigners
Kingsteignton library campaigners have won a reprieve
Five of Devon's smallest libraries are to close following a county council review of its services.

The council says the libraries at Ipplepen and Kingswear in south Devon, the Geneva Library in Bideford and Primley Library in Sidmouth will close.

Heavitree Library in Exeter has already been closed. Seven other libraries including Appledore remain under threat but could be run by local communities.

The council said savings would "modernise and improve" the service.

LIBRARIES CLOSED
Ipplepen
Kingswear
Geneva Library, Bideford
Primley Library, Sidmouth
Heavitree Library, Exeter

Council leader Brian Greenslade said: "The 12 libraries we looked at were only open for 13 hours a week on average so they were not a major community resource.

"It's nice to have your local library just down the road, but there were thousands of books just locked away for most of the week in these small libraries."

He said savings from the closures would be switched to bigger libraries to allow them to remain open for longer and improve internet and mobile services.

The county council would now be speaking to local people at Appledore, Colyton, Kingsteignton, Stoke Fleming, Shaldon, Pinhoe and Kingskerswell with a view to them being run by the community.

LIBRARIES THREATENED
Appledore
Colyton
Kingsteignton
Stoke Fleming
Shaldon
Pinhoe
Kingskerswell

At Appledore it is recommended that responsibility be transferred to the local Friends of the Library.

At Colyton the local community has plans to turn the library into a culture centre and at Kingskerswell local people have plans to relocate the library.

Neil Kelly, chairman of the Kingskerswell Against Library Closure Action Group, said they were "delighted".

Kingsteignton Library will be retained while discussions continue with developers on contributions to relocate it.

At Pinhoe in Exeter the local Friends group will be asked for their views on relocating the service and Shaldon will be retained until June next year to allow the parish council to come up with suggestions for a new location.

At Stoke Fleming in the South Hams, local users will be asked for their views on taking over the running of the library.




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