Looking to move… Stonehouse Library
Gloucestershire County Council and Stonehouse Town Council are proposing to relocate the library from Elm Road into the Town Hall to ensure the service remains available for many years to come.
Both councils are asking members of the public to have their say on the impact this proposal may have as well as how they use the current library facilities at Stonehouse. The building has become outdated and increasingly difficult to maintain. An investment of around £238k would be needed to ensure the current building is kept up to date and fit for purpose.
By relocating the library from Elm Road into the Town Hall, the library would benefit from a presence on the high street, making it easier for local residents to access library and town council services from one building. The Elm Road site would be sold to contribute to the costs of refurbishing part of the town council building.
Stonehouse Library is currently only open for 12 hours per week, the lowest opening hours of any county library in Gloucestershire. Both councils are keen to extend the library’s opening hours by encouraging more local residents to volunteer at future community engagement events.
The consultation will begin on 1 April and end on 25 May. An online version is available on the county council website at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/stonehouselibrary. Hard copies can be collected from Stonehouse Library and Stonehouse Town Hall.
Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for public protection, parking and libraries, said: “The building is in a poor state of repair and left in its current form would likely be forced to close within the next 12–24 months. Moving the library to the town council building not only would ensure the library remains open, but would also make it easier and more convenient for residents to access services from one central location. I urge as many residents as possible to complete the survey as it’s important the local community have their say.”
Cllr Lesley Williams, local county councillor for Stonehouse, said: “The library facility at Stonehouse is an important and well used service for local residents. If the proposal has no significant impact on residents and we receive an increase in numbers of library volunteers; the library opening hours could be extended which would be great news for the community here in Stonehouse. I hope local residents can find the time to complete the online questionnaire and give us their views.”
Cllr Theresa Watt, chair of Stonehouse Town Council, said: “We have been working with the county council for some time to ensure that the library and town council have a presence on the High Street. It will benefit local residents hugely to have both services together in a modern, light and accessible setting.”
A couple of drop in events to discuss the consultation have been organised.
- Monday 8 April from 10am - 1pm at Stonehouse Library
- Wednesday 1 May from 10am - 2pm at the Town Council offices