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Blow to library cash bid ‘If we can help we will’
HOPES for £10,000 to help save Micklefield Library were dashed on Tuesday, when it was revealed that a special expenses budget could not be spent on libraries.
The chairman of the High Wycombe Town Committee, Tony Green, refused to allow the subject to be discussed as an urgent item on Tuesday.
But he pledged to meet the chairman of the Save Micklefield Library campaign, David Cannings, along with leader of Wycombe District Council Lesley Clarke in a bid to see if they could help.
Cllr Clarke said: "If we can help we will, but we have to be aware that this is public money, not private money. You have to be extremely careful."
She warned that the district could be giving campaigners cash, then find out the library had to close anyway. She queried whether the district council should be expected to pick up the tab for libraries, which is county council responsibility. And she pointed out that another threatened library, West Wycombe, was in the district and also needed money to remain open.
In October, Buckinghamshire County Council earmarked eight libraries for closure, including Micklefield, Little Chalfont, and Chalfont St Giles.
Cuts were expected to save £161,000 costs, and the county council could make £800,000 from selling off the buildings. The news provoked protests from communities and two weeks ago the county council agreed to give campaigners until May to come up with plans to run the libraries themselves.
A meeting between the Bucks Foundation, Wycombe MP Paul Goodman, businesses and organisations such as Wycombe Wanderers and a list of authors is due to be arranged to help the appeal. And Micklefield campaigners are planning a bid for £500,000 lottery money to pay for a new building with better facilities. Bob Strong, head of libraries at the county council, said the Government department of culture, media and sport had been kept informed, from the consulation period up until the cabinet decision.