Asbestos scare shuts library

BEXHILL’S public library is to be closed for 10 days while dangerous asbestos is removed from the building.

The premises, at the junction of Western Road and Sackville Road, had been closed earlier this month while contractors were busy refurbishing the first floor.

But during the work, they discovered asbestos within the walls and so extra time must now be spent to safely remove it.

It means the library, run by East Sussex County Council, will be closed to the public from Monday, February 4 until Thursday, February 14.

It will then partially re-open on Friday, February 15, offering as full a service as possible from the ground floor only.

Once used for its fire-resistant and insulating properties, asbestos has since been identified as potentially harmful, its fibres having been linked to various types of lung disease, including cancer.

An ESCC spokesman stressed: “There was no hazard at the library and once the work is completed it will be totally safe for people to use.

“In the meantime, other libraries can be used, including Battle, Eastbourne, Hastings and Pevensey Bay. People can also call 0845 60 80 195 for renewals or 0345 60 80 196 for enquiries. Many services can also be accessed at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/libraries.”

The spokesman added: “We’re really sorry if this causes any inconvenience and thank people for their co-operation.”

Bexhill Library opened at its present location, formerly the building occupied by St Barnabas girls and infants school, in 1951.