Seahouses councillors stress the value of library service

Parish councillors have bemoaned the lack of a permanent library in Seahouses.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 1:43 am
Seahouses library operated from the first school until 2014.

Members of North Sunderland Parish Council were responding to a public consultation on the future shape of library services in Northumberland.

The library was on the former first school site until it was closed by Northumberland County Council for safety reasons in 2014.

A limited library service is still hosted at the Seahouses Hub, run by the development trust, while the village is also served by a mobile library on a weekly basis.

The former Seahouses library.

Coun Mick McCarthy said: “It’s an important service which was withdrawn and it has not been replaced adequately. The importance and significance of library services should not be understated.”

Coun Sylvia Hillan pointed out there were accessibility issues with the mobile library because of its stepped access.

However, members also conceded there is no longer an obvious building to house the library if there were ever moves to restore its permanent presence.

The council had also received an email from Beadnell resident Jen Hall who is lobbying for the retention of local library services.

“Northumberland County Council currently helps to fund free access to the internet via the Seahouses trust,” she wrote. “It would be terrible if this was withdrawn, especially for those who need to sign on regularly for Universal Credit.”

People have until March to respond to the questionnaire which is available at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NCCLibraryConsultation and as a paper copy in all libraries in the county.

The results of the consultation will help the council focus on how the service is delivered in the future.