Plans for the future of Hagley Library revealed

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Hagley Library Hagley Library

HAGLEY residents will have to fork out to keep their library open following Worcestershire County Council's review of the county's library services.

Volunteers will also be asked to help run the Worcester Road library as staffing levels will be reduced to save cash.

Concerned about the future of the library, around 150 residents packed into St Saviours church hall last Wednesday as officials from the county council and Hagley Parish Council revealed their plans.

They were told that while cuts were inevitable, there was no intention to close the library or reduce the current level of service.

Instead, savings will be made by cutting down on staff and transferring the running of the building to the parish council, who would in turn, increase the precept residents pay by £5 per year to cover costs.

This would be an interim solution as it was revealed the intention is to eventually move the library into a community hub.

Steve Mobley, the county council's quality and standards manager, said: "We don't want to close the library or reduce the level of service, have less books or have so few staff that have have to halve the opening hours, that is the beginning of the end.

"We have no plans for compulsory redundancies, we don't think there is a need for that, however we have made staff savings by looking at the jobs people do."

Money will be saved as temporary staff contracts will not be renewed and when managers leave, other managers would be drawn in to cover and have more than one library under their jurisdiction.

He added that when managers were off-site attending to other libraries, they would be covered by library support assistants, providing the same service to those visiting the library, but at a lesser cost.

Councillor Steve Colella, chairman of Hagley Parish Council, announced: "The proposal on the table is that the parish council look after the bricks and mortar of the building."

He estimated it would cost between £10-15,000 per year, which would mean increasing the precept.

Cllr Colella said this would be the equivalent of a "few pence per day" and added: "I don't think that is too bad to ask people to contribute to keep the library service open.

"We will ask the local parish councils to contribute and recognise that their residents use the service."

County Councillor Rachel Jenkins added: "We can't change what's in front of us but we are looking for volunteers to come in for a couple of hours a week and hep run it. To sustain the library in the future, we do want to put it into a community hub if we can and keep it open.

"We need Hagley Parish Council to support the running costs through the precept and move forward into the future."

Cllr Colella added: "The community hub will be where the community centre is at the moment.

"It is all part of a master plan and there will be a consultation process in the near future."

When the meeting concluded, residents were asked to come forward if they would consider volunteering at the library.

Cllr Colella told the News that 20 people had expressed an interest.

Comments (7)

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5:20pm Thu 13 Mar 14

DAVID1875 says...

It is typical that the people responsible for taking the decision to cut funding to Hagley Library by up to 40% were NOT at last night's meeting, those people being the County Council Leader Adrian Hardman ( who receives over £40,000 allowance per year ) and County Councillor Portfolio Holder for Libraries Cllr Lucy Hodgson ( who receives over £25,000 per year, and who is currently on holiday in Naples, Italy according to her recent tweets!).
It is typical that the people responsible for taking the decision to cut funding to Hagley Library by up to 40% were NOT at last night's meeting, those people being the County Council Leader Adrian Hardman ( who receives over £40,000 allowance per year ) and County Councillor Portfolio Holder for Libraries Cllr Lucy Hodgson ( who receives over £25,000 per year, and who is currently on holiday in Naples, Italy according to her recent tweets!). DAVID1875
  • Score: -1

7:08am Fri 14 Mar 14

dudley old boy says...

Only Davids allowed a holiday by the way.
Only Davids allowed a holiday by the way. dudley old boy
  • Score: 1

2:35pm Fri 14 Mar 14

DAVID1875 says...

I certainly would not be using my official county councillor twitter account to tweet photos of Gatwick Airport as I depart, as Cllr Hodgson has done! Of course at the same time as deciding on massive cuts to libraries which afect young and old alike, the cabinet at the same time have OKed a salary of £150,000 - £170,000 for our new chief executive-clearly cuts to the frontline are not matched by the same cuts to senior officers!
I certainly would not be using my official county councillor twitter account to tweet photos of Gatwick Airport as I depart, as Cllr Hodgson has done! Of course at the same time as deciding on massive cuts to libraries which afect young and old alike, the cabinet at the same time have OKed a salary of £150,000 - £170,000 for our new chief executive-clearly cuts to the frontline are not matched by the same cuts to senior officers! DAVID1875
  • Score: -1

7:06am Sat 15 Mar 14

dudley old boy says...

David seems to be more concerned at the amount of monies these people receive than the library closures.
David seems to be more concerned at the amount of monies these people receive than the library closures. dudley old boy
  • Score: 1

11:32am Sat 15 Mar 14

DAVID1875 says...

You are wrong Dudley Old Boy. My argument is quite clear; if the County Council cut the ridiculously high senior officers' salaries they would not have to cut library funding therefore Hagley Library would not come under threat! Dudley Old Boy, what are your comments on the whole subject of this story, the future of Hagley Library? Your only comments so far have been personally derogatory.
You are wrong Dudley Old Boy. My argument is quite clear; if the County Council cut the ridiculously high senior officers' salaries they would not have to cut library funding therefore Hagley Library would not come under threat! Dudley Old Boy, what are your comments on the whole subject of this story, the future of Hagley Library? Your only comments so far have been personally derogatory. DAVID1875
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Russell Eden says...

I agree with David. All they need to do is sack the highly paid people and replace them with low paid people. That should sort all the problems, for sure. Or, better still, see if you can find some jumped up mug to do the job for nothing. Even better.
I agree with David. All they need to do is sack the highly paid people and replace them with low paid people. That should sort all the problems, for sure. Or, better still, see if you can find some jumped up mug to do the job for nothing. Even better. Russell Eden
  • Score: 1

5:57am Thu 20 Mar 14

ozpat says...

Why not do something useful with it ? internet cafe or such like! afterall one laptop with internet access can get all the info in that library and more faster cheaper and more up to date! does society really need an outdated service and building for this purpose in the in the 21st century!
Why not do something useful with it ? internet cafe or such like! afterall one laptop with internet access can get all the info in that library and more faster cheaper and more up to date! does society really need an outdated service and building for this purpose in the in the 21st century! ozpat
  • Score: 0

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