Parish set to take on running of Stirchley library and support Brookside community centre

Stirchley Library is set to soon be run by Stirchley & Brookside Parish Council.

Parish set to take on running of Stirchley library and support Brookside community centre

Meanwhile talks are progressing well with community organisations led by the Brookside Big Local Partnership (BBLP) and supported by the parish council on the future of Brookside Central.

Stirchley Library was one of six earmarked for possible closure in Telford & Wrekin Council’s budget proposals – as the council strives to make £30m of cuts.

Meetings have now taken place between Telford & Wrekin, the parish council and BBLP about how these could be run in the future.

The parish council has said that it is committed to keeping the library facility, which is now in its offices at the Sambrook Centre in Stirchley, running as well supporting BBLP to run Brookside Central. These proposals will go to the Parish Council’s meeting on 22 March.

Arnold England, Stirchley & Brookside Council’s policy lead, said: “The library is a great local facility and one that, through strong partnership working over the last four years, has become a thriving community facility since the parish council relocated to save the library service.”

“This was the first time two councils had worked together to provide services from the same base  in the wider Shropshire area and it has seen the centre develop to offer a wide range of services as well as the library for the community.

“Given the strong record of partnership working between us the Telford & Wrekin Council, we are committed to keep the library running.  We’re still working with the borough council on the precise detail of what a future library service in Stirchley might look like and expect to finalise this soon.

“We are also working with BBLP to look at how together we can ensure that the community centre facility at Brookside can be run from April 2017 when Telford & Wrekin Council will stop running this.

“This is an excellent facility that is very well used by people and there is a very clear commitment from a number of local groups including Stirchley & Brookside Parish Council to continue to run after from April 2017.

Tina Rogers co-ordinator for BBLP added: “Working together we are committed to finding a solution that will ensure that Brookside Central can remain open and we are working with the parish council to look at all the options available for future alternative management.

“It’s a great facility used by so many people who live here, whether this is for learning, finding work, developing skills, social events or enjoying a break in the Take 5 café. We must do all we can to ensure it remains open.”

Shaun Davies, cabinet member for Business, Neighbourhoods and Customer Service with Telford & Wrekin Council added: “It’s great to see this commitment from organisations who understand that Telford & Wrekin must cut a further £30 million from its budget and that it can no longer continue to run certain services.

“The community are coming forward with ideas and solutions to allow services to continue, albeit in a different way.”

Since Telford & Wrekin announced its budget proposals in January, it has sought to  establish community partnerships to enable libraries to be delivered in a different way and this has so far resulted in announcements that Hadley, Dawley, Madeley  and Newport libraries will all continue.