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Ideas to be explored for the future of Werrington Library

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 09, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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PLANS are being tabled to transform a village library into a community 'station' – including space for events and even a charity shop.

Staffordshire County Council is looking at making cuts to library hours and handing the running of some premises over to volunteers

This has raised fears that Werrington's library could be forced to close.

Now district and parish councillor David Shaw is spearheading a campaign proposing an action group with support from Werrington Parish Council, along with the district and county council, to explore ways of keeping the premises open.

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Mr Shaw said: "Under the county council's proposals, unless it can be run by volunteers Werrington Library could close. We would prefer to keep the library as it is and to retain trained staff, but rather than lose our local library I am proposing to form an action group to look at using part of the building to generate income for running costs and maintenance.

"To safeguard the interests of Werrington residents the action group will explore the possibility of not just saving the library service, but changing the designation of the building by turning it into a community station, with a library, which would have more benefits."

Mr Shaw is proposing that the library be used for a number of community events.

He said: "So what could the library become if the community took it over and ran it with volunteers? The number of books could be halved and the space re-allocated so that this only took up around one third of the floor space.

"Other books required would be ordered through the library internet service and delivered to the library. This would free-up space for such things as tea, coffee and cake mornings to create a meeting place for residents, which would help to address the growing problem of loneliness.

"There would be room for a small charity shop area to raise funds. Activities such as chess and draught sessions, along with art displays could be started. Afternoons would be available for small community events.

"Main funding would come from allocating space, certainly the back office, into small one-man business stations. Other ideas include a parish council/community group office, and very importantly we could have a police post.

"The concern of the action group will not only be to save the facility but to expand its use so that more residents will benefit. We believe that this is the only way forward. Remember, if we lose the library we lose it forever."

He added: "We will also need people to help so please contact me if you would like to get involved and save the library as a community facility."

He can be contacted on 01782 302019 or email: david@dsaimaging.co.uk

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