On Saturday I visited Middleton Cheney Library to meet with residents, volunteers and local councillors to see for myself how important the library facilities are to the village. Following similar visits recently to Deanshanger and Brackley libraries, I have been impressed with both the strength of feeling about maintaining these vital facilities, as well as the willingness of the local community on each visit to rise to the challenge of taking running their libraries into their own hands.
There was an excellent turnout of residents in Middleton Cheney, and I was able to provide a brief update on the current situation and what I’d like to see happen. I have been clear that my role is to represent the views of my constituents on this issue to Northamptonshire County Council. While we all understand the financial pressure faced by the County Council, I have again urged Cllr Heather Smith, Leader of the Council, to have the Council work with library volunteers on an individual basis to discuss how the community might practically take ownership of the facilities and what support might be available to them.
It was a great pleasure in particular to meet George, a 102-year old gentleman who is an avid user of the library and the numerous activities on offer there, and there couldn’t be a better example of how important our libraries are for everyone!
Photos credit: Steve Prouse KBO Photography