Teeside village turns to tax increase to save library

Teeside village turns to tax increase to save library

The Teeside village of Great Ayton is proposing a tax increase in the parish precept in order to save its library, threatened by North Yorkshire county council (NYCC) funding cuts.

Great Ayton library is one of eight facing possible closure, with the council deciding they will be turned over to the community to run and to fund. The proposal for a £20 tax increase in the parish precept has been made in a questionnaire going to over 2,000 households in the village, according to a local news report, with more than 80% of respondents in favour of the scheme.

Irene Macdonald of Save Great Ayton Library Group said the measure had been adopted after the county council said no funding would be forthcoming for the community-run library, for which a long-running battle has been waged. She said: “A critical point has now been reached in the campaign to save the library."

NYCC has divided its libraries into three tiers in a plan to save £2m over four years. Eighteen of its 41 libraries will continue to be staffed, with reduced opening hours, while 15 more will receive some funding but require volunteers for staffing. Great Ayton library is one of the remaining eight, which will receive no funding or staff.