CAMPAIGNERS hoping to keep Beaminster Library open say they cannot do it without support from Dorset County Council.

County councillor Rebecca Knox told members of Beaminster Town Council that the message from volunteers was clear – they need financial and professional help.

Coun Knox said: “There was a big meeting last week at Dorchester to discuss the threatened libraries and it was extremely well attended with some very good speakers and a lot of opinions were put forward.

“The thrust of the meeting for those attending was that the county council needed to find another way of saving money rather than cutting community libraries.

“Beaminster group has submitted its first expression of interest to discuss its way forward.

“The Beaminster position is that it cannot go forward in any form whatsoever without the financial support of Dorset County Council for its book circulation and the expertise of a librarian to support the volunteers.”

Dorset County Council has opened formal consultation on the future of libraries and plans to save £800,000.

It includes questionnaires in libraries and online. The council says it wants to hear from people whether they are library users or not.

Libraries in Lyme Regis, Charmouth, Burton Bradstock and Beaminster are among 20 under threat, although the main Bridport library is safe.

The Association of Friends of Dorset Libraries (Ad Lib) is urging supporters to use the questionnaire to vote for its plans, which would keep all 34 libraries in Dorset open.

Ad Lib chairman Graham Lee said: “These questionnaires, which are now in every Dorset library, show that there are two distinct ways of finding the money Dorset needs to save from its library costs.

“There is the county council’s plan of closing 60 per cent of Dorset’s network of branch libraries and there’s our alternative proposal which would save slightly more money and keep all our well-loved local libraries.”

Debbie Ward, director of adult and community services at Dorset County Council, said: “The public consultation is a crucial step to inform the final proposals before any decisions are made.”

The consultation period is until June 13. Recommendations will be made to the full council in the summer.

To find out more and complete the questionnaire, visit