Village’s anger leads to library sale U-turn

Binley Woods Villagers pictured outside Binley Woods Library which is soon to close.''Pictured: Anne Tippett, John Henderson, Diane Henderson & Evelyn Humphreys.
Binley Woods Villagers pictured outside Binley Woods Library which is soon to close.''Pictured: Anne Tippett, John Henderson, Diane Henderson & Evelyn Humphreys.

BINLEY Woods’ library building has been taken off the market after villagers reacted angrily when they saw it advertised for sale.

The village branch closes on Saturday. It is one of several shut by the county council to save money.

After one consultation over the closure of the library, villagers expected a second on the future use of the building, which is one of the few community spaces in Binley Woods. The council is now waiting to see what the village’s housing needs are before deciding what to do with the site.

A county council spokesman said: “The building in which Binley Woods library is currently situated was put on the market following the decision to proceed based on the results of both the consultation on the future of the library and the period for which viable community library proposals were to have come forward. The imperative to make very large savings quickly is why officers have proceeded without delay.

“However, on reflection and having heard the concerns of the parish council it would be better to ensure that we take into account the forthcoming parish plan, particularly any local housing needs before the site is marketed.

“This means we will withdraw the site from the market until such time as we understand what the housing needs are.”

However, the council’s actions are likely to come as a disappointment to villagers, who want the site to be used by the community.

Anne Tippet, a villager involved in Binley Wood’s parish plan, said: “There is an active village hall run as a charity by volunteers, a small sports pavilion on an open space, one pub and a primary school and the library site represents the only other community space and residents are reluctant to see this lost. Under recent county council cost cuts, the village has lost its library, the youth club is on extremely short term funding and the evening bus service has also been cut.”