St Just Library Enters a New Era
St Just Library enters a new era of being run by local people for local people.
The future of St Just Library has been safeguarded for residents as part of a new partnership that started on November 1, 2019 between Cornwall Council and St Just Town Council.
Under the agreement the library has transferred to the Town Council after alterations were completed.
The changeover will bring about the future relocation of the Town Council office into part of the library building in January so visitors will have access to a range of services in one place.
Completed improvement work included re-roofing the central flat roof, replacing the entrance porch, remodelling the library space and creating new office space for the Town Council.
Under the new partnership, which is part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme, St Just Library will continue to provide all the key services essential to a modern library as well as offering the potential to increase access to a range of Town Council services.
St Just Library will remain part of the countywide service meaning customers will keep their existing library cards and can still visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.
St Just Town Mayor Marna Blundy said: “I’d like to welcome library staff and volunteers under the wing of the Town Council, and I look forward to developing our partnership to benefit everyone in our community.”
“We know just how much the library is valued here, and I’m delighted that we have been able to secure its future, whilst giving us opportunities to grow and develop services locally. Today is a good day to celebrate!”
St Just Cornwall Councillor Sue James said: “I have been on a long journey with local residents to safeguard and protect our local library service, throughout my time as a Cornwall Councillor.” [Some lows and highs of that journey can be caught up with here and here]
“It is always good when campaigns have a happy ending and I believe having local control of the library will allow us to move from defending it to making plans for it to flourish, our own St Just way.”
Like all local authorities throughout the UK, Cornwall Council has had some tough decisions to make when faced with substantial cuts in funding from central Government.
Rather than close libraries, however, the Council has worked with town and parish councils and community groups throughout Cornwall to transfer ownership of these much-loved services to local communities.
Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Neighbourhoods, said: “I’d like to thank St Just Town Council for working with us to take on the local library at St Just which protects this valuable service for the community for the future. In our other devolved libraries, services have not only been protected but in many cases they have been developed with refurbished buildings, increased opening hours and more community events being delivered.
“Residents in St Just now have a streamlined library building that is safeguarded for the future and there is the potential to increase opening hours and access to library and Town Council Services