Rumours fly as temporary library job is advertised

Witney Gazette: Geoff Feasey. Picture: OX56532 Antony Moore Buy this photo » Geoff Feasey. Picture: OX56532 Antony Moore

CONCERNS that North Leigh library could close if volunteer workers aren’t found have been dismissed by County Hall.

Oxfordshire County Council has advertised for a temporary librarian in the village, sparking rumours the library may be running out of time.

The authority hopes 21 of its libraries will be staffed with volunteers after it did a U-turn on plans to close some services.

Cabinet member for safer and stronger communities Judith Heathcoat said there was no foundation to the concerns in the community.

But users of the library in Memorial Hall, Park Road, North Leigh, say they have been left in the dark.

Grandfather and former Royal Navy commander Geoff Feasey, 82, who was a member of the Friends of North Leigh Library group during the fight against its closure, said: “The question now is why has it all gone quiet?

“When you see that they’re only advertising for a temporary person, and with the knowledge that the original plan was to get volunteers or close it is a bit worrying.

“It is an indication, some of us think, that they are determined to do what they were intending to do in the first place, which is to try to recruit volunteers and close if they can’t find any.”

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Mrs Heathcoat said: “The current member of staff at North Leigh will be taking up a new job in April and we shall shortly be beginning the recruitment process for a replacement.

“The post will be advertised as a temporary one, as when the community library initiative is implemented in North Leigh the number of hours for that post would be reduced when volunteers start to take a role in supporting their library.”

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