MIDHURST town councillors are using new legislation in a bid to try to save the town’s library for community use.
Gordon McAra told fellow town councillors he wanted to try and safeguard the library through the new ‘community right to buy’ bill.
This, he said was a ‘delaying mechanism’ which gave community groups the right to put off the sale of community assets for six months if they went on the market, to give the group time to try to put together a bid of its own.
“It doesn’t have to be the town or parish council that puts in the bid, it could be any recognised group,” said Mr McAra,
He said Chichester District Council was setting up a register and application forms would be available .
“I think it’s up to us to give the lead to the community in Midhurst and a building that is dear to me is the library,” he said.
“At the end of the year it is going to be vacated when the library moves to the new Grange community and leisure centre and I think as a community, this is an important building for us, and we should at least have this mechanism in place in case it comes up for sale.”
He said being on the register did not oblige the town council to bid for the building if it came up for sale but it would provide an opportunity for it to be saved for use as a community asset by any group should a viable proposition be made.
“Being on the register gives us a little bit of security,” he said.