Culture Secretary visits Worcester to salute £60m world class Hive

Sajid Javid, far left, outside The Hive in Worcester yesterday with city MP Robin Walker, Anna Hannaford, from the university, vice-chancellor Proff David Green and Cllr Adrian Hardman, county council leader

Sajid Javid, far left, outside The Hive in Worcester yesterday with city MP Robin Walker, Anna Hannaford, from the university, vice-chancellor Proff David Green and Cllr Adrian Hardman, county council leader

First published in News Bromsgrove Advertiser: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

CULTURE secretary Sajid Javid breezed into Worcester yesterday to tour the city's £60 million Hive - and hailed it as one of the country's best examples of a world class library.

Mr Javid, who took over from Maria Miller in April following her expenses scandal, told your Worcester News the gold-cladded building had a pioneering way to make libraries "relevant" for the 21st century.

He also revealed how the complex, the first of its kind in Europe as a joint public-university facility, could help influence Government thinking into how the libraries of tomorrow ultimately develop.

His visit was aimed to coincide with the second anniversary of The Queen's official opening of The Hive on July 11, 2012.

He said: "Libraries have not had their day, we've just got to make sure they are more relevant to people's lives.

"People now use them for not just books but the internet and other services and this is a really impressive building.

"It's a great demonstration of partnership working and shows what can be achieved together." He also said the current review of libraries being commissioned by the Government is coming to an end and when drawing his own conclusions, centres like The Hive would play a part in his views.

He told your Worcester News he is also relishing being a part of David Cameron's top table, and said he owes his position to people in Worcestershire.

Mr Javid, whose responsibilities include media and sport, is a Bromsgrove MP.

He said trying to balance being a county MP with a high-flying Cabinet role is "challenging" adding: "I have to manage my time very carefully but I know I'm only able to represent the country because of the support of the people of Bromsgrove."

During his stay he also toured the university's neighbouring city campus, and Worcester Cathedral where he saw where £80,000 is going on weatherproofing the ceiling to the cathedral library.

Worcester MP Robin Walker, who accompanied him, called The Hive a "wonderful Worcestershire asset" while university vice chancellor Professor David Green said he was "delighted" to welcome Mr Javid to the city.

The Hive is a joint project between the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council and has the largest children's library in the entire country.

The county's archives and archaeology services services are based there as well as the hub contact facility for council payments, a business centre, cafe and more.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:33am Sat 12 Jul 14

Perfman says...

There must be a General Election due!
There must be a General Election due! Perfman
  • Score: 3

9:58am Sat 12 Jul 14

I'm_not_bitter says...

£60million spent and a worse service for the students - that's not to be celebrated.
£60million spent and a worse service for the students - that's not to be celebrated. I'm_not_bitter
  • Score: 1

8:14am Sun 13 Jul 14

green49 says...

WHO? another PR excersise from the Tories. How much did this excersise cost the taxpayer?
WHO? another PR excersise from the Tories. How much did this excersise cost the taxpayer? green49
  • Score: 1

7:25am Mon 14 Jul 14

Shirley Burnham says...

The Hive was funded by £40.9m of Private Financial Initiative (PFI), £6.6m from the county council, £10m from the university, £7m from Advantage West Midlands and £300,000 from Worcester City Council. It must be worth asking now what the annual costs of the PFI are and for how long will this PFI debt be a burden. Someone must know.

A huge entity like this, however magnificent, comes with a huge cost and has other consequences. Mr Sajid Javid's culture minister seemed to indicate some awareness of these in 2012:

"I am always mindful that libraries are a local service, paid for by local taxpayers. As far as possible, local democracy not Whitehall diktat should have an impact on how they are shaped." -- Ed Vaizey, Culture Minister (Future Library Services Conference, June 2012)

Hundreds of accessible public libraries across the country are being sacrificed, in the face of protest that is ignored by Mr Sajid Javid who is blessed with statutory powers to intervene in the worst cases but does not.

Is it fair to say that, in spite of people's manifest opposition to the Government's vision for a reduced Library Service, that "Whitehall diktat" will run roughshod over any evidence from William Sieghart's libraries review which fails to correspond with it? At the same time, what impediment exists to prevent the Culture Secretary actually *listening* to the beleaguered library user - and undertaking his statutory duty on his/her behalf?

Perhaps the Bromsgrove Advertiser could publish a follow-up article which addresses all these concerns.
The Hive was funded by £40.9m of Private Financial Initiative (PFI), £6.6m from the county council, £10m from the university, £7m from Advantage West Midlands and £300,000 from Worcester City Council. It must be worth asking now what the annual costs of the PFI are and for how long will this PFI debt be a burden. Someone must know. A huge entity like this, however magnificent, comes with a huge cost and has other consequences. Mr Sajid Javid's culture minister seemed to indicate some awareness of these in 2012: "I am always mindful that libraries are a local service, paid for by local taxpayers. As far as possible, local democracy not Whitehall diktat should have an impact on how they are shaped." -- Ed Vaizey, Culture Minister (Future Library Services Conference, June 2012) Hundreds of accessible public libraries across the country are being sacrificed, in the face of protest that is ignored by Mr Sajid Javid who is blessed with statutory powers to intervene in the worst cases but does not. Is it fair to say that, in spite of people's manifest opposition to the Government's vision for a reduced Library Service, that "Whitehall diktat" will run roughshod over any evidence from William Sieghart's libraries review which fails to correspond with it? At the same time, what impediment exists to prevent the Culture Secretary actually *listening* to the beleaguered library user - and undertaking his statutory duty on his/her behalf? Perhaps the Bromsgrove Advertiser could publish a follow-up article which addresses all these concerns. Shirley Burnham
  • Score: 3

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree