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St Just library campaigners submit hours petition

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: March 19, 2014

Councillor Adam Paynter receives a petition from St Just's Cornwall councillor Sue James, second left, and Friends of St Just Library.

Councillor Adam Paynter receives a petition from St Just's Cornwall councillor Sue James, second left, and Friends of St Just Library.

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A PETITION opposing proposed cuts to St Just Library opening times and containing 1,660 signatures has been handed in to Cornwall Council.

Representatives from the Friends of St Just Library and local councillor Sue James travelled up to County Hall on Monday to hand in the petition, collected in a mere ten days, to Adam Paynter, Cabinet member for partnerships, and with overall responsibility for library services.

The representatives from St Just explained how important the library was to residents, providing the only public internet access in the town, as well as the vital tourist information service, a venue for community groups and, of course, books.

They stressed the importance of looking at the impact of the cuts on individual communities, rather than cutting a uniform nine hours across the county.

Kate Beckly, of the Friends, said: "Making equal cuts across Band 3 libraries, does not necessarily give a fair result, because the impact of those cuts will vary according to different sets of circumstances and access to other facilities within that community.

"It is essential that the council look at a remote town like St Just and understand the value that the library has at the heart of that community."

The Friends urged Mr Paynter to look again at the impact the reduction in hours would have in St Just, and explained that the idea of twinning the library with St Ives was unworkable.

The current proposal from the council is to close St Just library on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (the current days it is open) and to open on new days – Tuesdays and Thursdays – to fit in with the opening hours in St Ives.

As well as the petition, St Just residents have also campaigned on the issue by partaking in a mass withdrawal of books and organising the Hands Off Our Library demonstration as reported in The Cornishman last week.

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