CrowboroughLife has been contacted by a number of residents concerned about books being removed from Crowborough Library.
In response East Sussex County Council spokesman said:
Across our library service we continually review stock to remove old, damaged and unused books to create space for new ones.
We are currently in the process of reviewing the stock at Crowborough Library to weed out these damaged and unused books, which allows us to provide new stock, something we do all the time across our libraries.
This helps us ensure we provide books and other materials that reflect what people want to read and that we provide a library that meets our customers’ needs.
We are also taking this opportunity to make some small improvements to the library to make it easier for our customers to move around and use the facility.
Sale of the Pine Grove Building
Crowborough Library is located on the first floor of the building on Pine Grove, and East Sussex County Council (ESCC) have a 999 year lease to use one wing of the building. Crowborough Town Council is in the final stages of buying the building from Wealden District Council. The final hurdle in the sale process will be getting change of use, to get D1classification enabling many ‘public’ services to operate from the building. It is anticipated that this will be resolved at the planning meeting scheduled for 7th April.
Before the financial crisis it was hoped that the library might be expanded, as it is considered to be relatively small for a town of Crowborough’s size. East Sussex County Council have told CrowboroughLife that a ‘high level introductory meeting with Crowborough Town Council to understand their aspirations for the building and discuss lease arrangements’.
Money for Improvements
One of the legal conditions attached to the building of 160 houses off Walshes Road, is that the ESCC will receive £37,760 from the developers ‘for the purposes of improving library facilities in the Crowborough Area and surrounding area’.
An East Sussex County Council spokesman said there are currently no plans to renovate the library:
When section 106 funding is secured we use it to improve the services as stipulated in the agreement. It is often necessary to build up a budget from a number of agreements to generate enough money for improvements.
The Walsh Manor Farm section 106 funding agreement was signed in December and the payment can be collected after the 80th private dwelling is completed and occupied. It is anticipated this will not be for some time as development has not yet begun.
The Country Council are rolling out Wi-Fi to all the libraries in East Sussex. It is expected that the Crowborough installation will be completed by the end of the month.
Cuts to opening hours
Under current proposals to save £2 million library opening hours across East Sussex could be cut by 25%. Under the measures the opening hours of Crowborough Library would be cut from 49 hours per week to 36.5 and the latest the library would be open is 6pm. Residents have until 3rd April to submit their comments online or in person in the library.