THE demolition of Woodstock's former library is raising fears about the future of a permanent service in the town.

Preparatory work to knock down the Hensington Road building will begin on Monday and take about two weeks, before the actual demolition starts.

The building was closed after structural damage was found last October, with the library temporarily located in The Oxfordshire Museum in Park Street since December.

Earlier this year, Woodstock Town Council called for a full evaluation of the cost of repairs before the demolition took place, but councillor Sharone Parnes revealed attentions have now turned to what lies ahead.

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He said: "People are still wondering where the permanent library will be.

"The current facility is better than nothing, but it's very restrictive.

"People have accepted it's inevitable that this one will be knocked down, but the replacement is on everyone's minds and we've seen no progress."

A routine inspection last October revealed damage to the walls, with further surveys revealing the extent of the problem.

Follow-up inspections revealed several large cracks appearing 'very rapidly', according to Oxfordshire County Council, as the building's 'structural integrity' deteriorated.

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The demolition was originally planned for April, the same month as a town council meeting where Mr Parnes proposed a motion to put the work on hold.

Last month, Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, the county council's cabinet member for education and cultural services, said the council was 'determined' to ensure there is a permanent library in the town.

She added: “As safety has to be our first consideration there is no alternative to demolishing the library building. I know there will be some disruption in the town during the site works.

"We are doing everything we can to minimise that disruption and apologise for any inconvenience caused to residents, visitors and library users."

County council spokesperson, Chris Dyson, confirmed no permanent location for a library has been identified.

He added: "The county council is committed to finding a permanent location and work is underway to identify suitable options."