The meeting of the Parish Council was held in the Main Hall as it was expected that a large number of people would wish to attend which proved correct as over 100 people came to the meeting. The reason was that Cllr. Fatemian, County Councillor for Kennington had asked if he could invite Cllr. Judith Heathcoat, Cabinet member responsible for libraries and John Jackson, the Director for Community Services, to inform the Parish Council about the proposals that had been made to cease funding 20 of the 43 libraries in Oxfordshire including Kennington Library. During the meeting it was said that the statistics showed that Kennington Library had only 17 visitors per hour. They had chosen the 20 named libraries as they only served 18% of the users of libraries. Mr Jackson outlined the timetable of the process and said the initial proposal would be considered by the County Cabinet in January 2011 followed by a public consultation from March to May 2011. At the end of the consultation period there would be work on creating a model for an alternative volunteer led library. The final proposal would be voted on in October 2011. They would be working with the staff that would be losing their jobs between October and December 2011 and any library to be closed would be decommissioned from January to June 2012. There was considerable upset and concern from the members of the Parish Council. The Friends of Kennington Library led by Sylvia Vetta and others put forward suggestions to save the modern library in Kennington by reducing opening hours across all libraries as some other County Councils were doing. Cllr. Heathcoat said that she wanted to hear from as many people as possible new ways of running a village library at a lower cost. She said she could be contacted on her email or residents could use the following email to make suggestions for ways of running a small library . The members of the Parish Council want to retain the library and would respond to the formal consultation when it was issued. They would support the campaign led by the Friends of Kennington Library.
The remainder of the meeting was shorter and a number of items were deferred. This included the consideration of a proposal for a Micro Hydro Generation Project at Sandford weir. It was hoped to have a presentation at the January meeting from Hallidays Hydropower, an Oxfordshire based company who specialise in the development and installation of hydropower turbines with a main focus being on the Archimedes Screw turbine.
There had been a meeting with the new contractor, Continental Landscapes, who would be cutting the highway verges and the playing fields next season.
Finally the members of the Parish Council and the Clerk would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.