28/06/2016 - Permalink

Shropshire Council about to start discussions again on Church Stretton Library

Related topics: Leisure, culture and heritage

Work will soon begin again on opening discussions on the future of Church Stretton Library with Church Stretton Town Council and other local groups. Together they will explore options to ensure the long term sustainability of the library and other community-based services in the town.

It is anticipated that the town council will be surveying local opinion in July/August 2016 on whether they should precept to support services ‘at risk’ of closure in the town, including the library.

Shropshire Council recognises libraries and other face-to-face services are at the heart of many communities across the county, and has been having discussions on the long-term financial sustainability with communities since January 2016. These discussions will continue through the summer months.

Stuart West, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for leisure and culture, said:

“Libraries play an important role in the local community and, whilst the role of local libraries has changed over the years, they remain important for both cultural and social reasons. A huge amount of work has already been undertaken by all those involved to bring us to this point. I am pleased that libraries and other face-to-face council services in towns like Albrighton, Shifnal and Gobowen will be run and be looked after by people who have their best interests at heart.”

Lee Chapman and David Evans, local Shropshire Councillors for Church Stretton and Craven Arms, said:

“We are pleased we can now get back to work looking for a long term solution for our library service and our visitor information service in Church Stretton. We look forward to working with the town council to achieve the best result for all our community.”

To find out more about the work the council is undertaking with town and parish councils to help sustain community-based services in your area, contact your local community enablement officer or local councillor.

Further information

Shropshire Councillors and officers have been in extensive discussions with town and parish councils across the county to explain its financial challenges, and to look at options to secure a sustainable future for local community-based services such as libraries, customer services, leisure centres, youth activities and museums.

It was agreed at a recent meeting with town and parish councils that they will confirm their ambition to take on services currently run by Shropshire Council and will submit any proposals by the end of September 2016. Shropshire Council will support and assist this process.

The final decision on what will happen is not expected until the autumn, to allow sufficient time for these discussions to take place.