Saturday, 25 September 2021

Award for campaigner

A FORMER Benson parish councillor is to be honoured for helping to save the village

A FORMER Benson parish councillor is to be honoured for helping to save the village library from closure.

Dave Rushton is the winner of the 2016 Don Fletcher Community Award.

The retired air traffic controller, who lives in Preston Crowmarsh, formed the Friends of Benson Library committee in 2011 after Oxfordshire County Council announced plans to cut its libraries budget.

The Castle Square library was one of several due to lose half of its staff funding.

Public outcry at the plans prompted a rethink and a pledge that there would be no closures.



In April 2014, the Benson facility became a “community library”, meaning that the council continues to provide the building and facilities as well as 20 hours of staff time per week and the Friends fund another five hours to ensure that library manager Hilary Rust is always present.

The Friends also provide volunteers to support the professional staff and maintain the opening hours.

Mr Rushton will be presented with the award at the annual parish meeting next Friday (May 20).

• The Friends will hold a fund-raising cake sale at Bob’s Corner in High Street tomorrow (Saturday) from 9am to 12.30pm.



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