Stonehouse Town Council give the green light for talks to improve local library service
Last night (Monday 7th August) Stonehouse Town Council agreed to begin talks on a proposal to improve the local library service with Gloucestershire County Council. If the talks are successful Stonehouse Library could move to Stonehouse Town Hall.
Cllr Tim Harman, cabinet member responsible for libraries at Gloucestershire County Council, said:
"This is an exciting development and I welcome the decision of Stonehouse Town Council to work with us to deliver an improved and more accessible local library service.
"This is at the moment an option that will now be considered in more detail. If adopted the proposals will see the library move to a high street location, and be part of a new community hub in the centre of Stonehouse.
"The proposals will also bring about better opportunities to engage with the community and increase partnership working with the town council."
Cllr Theresa Watt, Chair and Town Mayor for Stonehouse Town Council said:
“We look forward to seeing how the proposals develop and welcome the commitment from Gloucestershire County Council to work with us to help improve the services we offer and create a better Stonehouse for all.”
County Cllr for Stonehouse Lesley Williams said:
“This is the first step in a process that is fantastic news for Stonehouse. Better access to the library at the centre of a new community hub is something that I have worked hard for. I welcome the joint working between the county and town council and hope that it will bring further benefits for the residents and business of Stonehouse”
Jane Everiss, Head of Library Services at Gloucestershire County Council, said:
"We are pleased to be exploring an opportunity of creating a new library within the Town Council building. We believe this will allow us to enhance the library service offered to the local community and give them an opportunity to access a greater breadth of services from one building."
Under the proposals the library would be co-located with Stonehouse Town Council in Stonehouse Town Hall lasting a minimum of 25 years with a two to three year notice period.
The county council is willing to invest in the Stonehouse Town Hall building to introduce a library space and create a joint Town Council and Library building, if agreed this investment will guarantee the long-term future of the library in Stonehouse for years to come and could see the county council contributing towards running costs for the building based on the proportion of floor space occupied by the library.
Having received the consent of Stonehouse Town Council and the county council will now begin working on a full proposal that will be presented for public consultation.