Rural communities show interest in running local libraries
Councillors will consider the responses from three communities about the future
of three rural libraries when they meet on Monday 11 January.
Local groups in Hope and Mynydd Isa are interested in running the part time
libraries in their villages under the Councils current approach to working in
partnership with communities to transfer some of its community assets , the
Organisational Change Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be told. Councils
have the option to transfer buildings and land to community or charitable
groups for them to sustain buildings and activities that are at risk. Any new
arrangements for the two libraries could be in place by 1 April, subject to
approval by the Councils Cabinet.
In Saltney, consideration will be given to a request from local County
Councillors who are seeking an extension to the time frame to further explore
potential local solutions.
A Medium Term Libraries Plan, outlining a sustainable libraries
infrastructure for the future was agreed by the Councils Cabinet last March.
This included designated hub libraries in Mold, Holywell, Connahs Quay,
Deeside Leisure Centre, Buckley and Flint. The feasibility of community asset
transfers has been under consideration for rural libraries. The re-location of
libraries in Queensferry, Mancot and Hawarden to a new library in Deeside
Leisure Centre will be completed by 1 March.
Community asset transfers for libraries in Hope, Mynydd Isa and Saltney could
help contribute towards a proposed £0.544m of savings for the Council in
2016/17 through Community Asset Transfer.
Councillor Chris Bithell, Cabinet member for Education said:
Im pleased that local groups have shown such a keen interest in developing
alternative approaches to sustaining library activities. The Council will work
with local communities for a smooth transition should the proposals be
approved. Because of current financial pressures we have had no option but to
look at different ways of sustaining important local assets and we welcome the
support of local communities at this time.