Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Cuts to Cornwall's Performing Arts Library to be investigated

Proposed cuts to Cornwall's performing arts library will be debated at the council's Communities Scrutiny meeting on March 14th. The library is said to be facing major changes in a bid to cut spending.

Like many Cornwall Councillors, I've received many emails from concerned users of a pretty unique facility. Based at St Austell Library, the performing arts library holds lots of sheet music and scripts for plays. It is used by amateur dramatics groups, bands and academics and saves each user many hundreds of pounds. If a group is looking for a play to perform, they can study and read through a whole range of options without having to buy expensive scripts simply by using the library.

My understanding of the proposed cost saving is to move the library to Threemilestone and cut opening hours. It is also proposed that staff numbers would be cut back. The council's response is of the 'cuts need to be made somewhere' variety.

In order to clarify the situation and to allow councillors to have their say on the proposals, I have asked for an item on the proposed performing arts library cuts to come to the Communities Scrutiny Committee next week. We will hopefully know more then.

1 comment:

Phil said...

I can understand the need to reduce staffing numbers at the Performing Arts Library in the current climate. Indeed it would be wrong to maintain 50 hours worth of staffing there if that were to mean that one or tow libraries in smaller towns would close.

However the move to Threemilestone is unnecessary. It is quite possible to maintain the collection available to the public in St Austell. For some of the time staff could be made available to assist users. For some of the time there would be no dedicated staff to assist users who would still be able to consult and borrow the music and plays.

But of course this may be part of Cornwal lCouncil's plan to concentrate all the goodies they can still afford near Truro in the moddle of their golden triangle.