Plans to save library approved

First published in News

A GROUP of residents working to raise enough money to keep Broadway Library open are forging ahead with their plans after they were given the thumbs up by Worcestershire County Council.

At a meeting last week, the county council's cabinet agreed plans to secure the future of a number of libraries, including Broadway and Upton-upon-Severn, by working with community groups.

As previously reported, The Save Broadway Library group is taking over the library and is trying to raise enough money to keep the service going after the county council announced cuts to its library services.

Of the £2.7 million the council wants to save from libraries between 2011 and 2016, £2.2 million has already been achieved while £513,000 still needs to be clawed back.

Under their plans, the group is seeking charity status, will take on management of the premises including financial responsibility for the existing outgoings of the library building.

And they have already raised £7,000 - enough to keep it running for the first year - and more after a local supplier agreed to make a charitable donation on an ongoing basis.

Steve Williams, chairman of the Save Broadway group, said the group were just going to continue with their plans following the announcement.

"The cabinet meeting did nothing to alter the position of Broadway library nor did it have a negative effect on it's plans for making sure the library continue to remain open," he said.

"We are continuing as before, there's no impact. It's supportive of our efforts in the keeping the library open. We're just going to carry on raising the money as before.

"We've got £7,000 needed and maybe a bit extra. We will see where are in a year's time."

Meanwhile, Worcestershire County Council has drawn up proposals to dramatically scale down mobile library services in a bid to save cash.

The proposals, which are subject to the three-month consultation, could see all existing stops within a three-miles of a stationary library deleted.

That means the current number of stops, which is 430 across the county, will fall by about 50 per cent.

People across the Vale use the mobile library service which stops at places including Hampton, Charlton, Eckington and four stops in Badsey.

Gary Bailey, chairman of Badsey Parish Council, said he was concerned about the effect it could have on elderly residents.

"I know there are a lot of people that use the mobile library," he said. "I don't think it's going to save a significant amount of money. I think there's better ways of saving money."

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