DURRINGTON residents are “worried” and “concerned” about the future of their local library, after being told it “won’t survive another winter”.

At the village’s annual parish council meeting Tuesday night, April 26, a Wiltshire Council representative said the authority wants to move the library to a more suitable, long-term location.

The library has been standing for 49 years and the council’s management team has advised that structurally it has reached the end of its life.

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Wendy Haylock, who volunteers at Durrington library, is worried about the potential drop-off of children attending the library if it moves elsewhere.

She said: “At the moment we are positioned between the two main schools in the village and when we do things for children, we get queues out the door.

“It’s really important that children have the opportunity, and the idea that it’ll be moved somewhere not as accessible is a big issue and we’re very worried about it."

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Costs to demolish and replace the portacabin on the same site are estimated at £250,000, which the council describes as “cost ineffective”.

After the meeting Wiltshire Councillor Ian Blair-Pilling, cabinet member for libraries, said: “We know how vital local libraries are to their communities and we want to ensure they continue to provide important services shaped round the needs of local people.

“We want to ensure our libraries are in the heart of their communities.“

Wiltshire Council has a statutory requirement to provide a library service in Durrington and wants to hear the public’s views on the future possibilities for the library’s relocation in the village.

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Another volunteer at Durrington library, who has requested to remain anonymous, is concerned about what the library’s closure could mean for older visitors.

They said: “Our volunteers are a bit up in arms about it, they think that they’re going to close it.

“In the winter, our current location is so convenient for older people, the bus stops right outside."

Wiltshire Council has proposed the Robinson room, in the town hall, as a location for the library.

“I don’t think it’s big enough, how are we going to fit in there?” added the volunteer.

Cllr Blair-Pilling said: “With regards to our smaller libraries, we’re also looking at opportunities to share public buildings where at all possible and create a community hub for the benefit of residents with a number of services available.”

Durrington library currently opens three-and-a-half days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10am until 5pm, and Saturday from 10am until 1pm.

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