Whithorn granted extension in library hours campaign

Whithorn Library
Whithorn Library

Whithorn Community Council has told Dumfries and Galloway Council that it would prefer to make savings at Whithorn Library through cutting heating and energy costs, rather than cutting opening hours.

Whithorn CC secretary Julia Muir Watt said: “We believe the insulation to be inadequate and we have pointed out that Climate Challenge Funding could be available to make it more energy efficient, as this is a community building (Common Good Fund-owned) and therefore eligible. We have also offered to create a working group to come up with ideas and suggestions to increase use.”

At last week’s meeting of Whithorn and District Community Council, the members expressed dissatisfaction that a consultation meeting in March was not well advertised, that answers had not been forthcoming at the public meeting and that senior management had not attended. These also had been no explanation as to how a benefits services could be organised in the library without private meeting facilities or how cutting the hours would save the council £6740. The council later admitted this figure was incorrect.

Julia Muir Watt said afterwards: “The community council decided that it could not make an informed and adequate case against reduced hours, when the case in favour was based on a faulty calculation.”

The Community Council requested and were granted an extension to the time allowed to submit a reasoned case for retaining the existing hours from March 31 to April 4.

A spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Council said on Wednesday: “The Council have now received a case from Whithorn Community Council requesting a change to the proposed opening hours. The information regarding the savings figure given was provided and the case will be presented to community and customer services committee on April 15 along with the others received.”