Troubled times for the library service

“We live in interesting times”, as the saying goes… meaning we live in troubled times.

Wednesday this week was a big day: the Izaak Walton Pub announced it was closing for a period, and Tean Post Office closed too (though, to everyone’s surprise, it has immediately re-opened!).
Also, on Wednesday, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council finally confirmed the date for its discussion (next week) of the Blythe Park planning application (the one where over 150 new homes could be built in Cresswell) – click here if you want more details of that.

Libraries

So, the fate of our local library service got swamped by all the other news on Wednesday.
But the news about it is not great either.

Blythe Bridge Library is one of the libraries that will be ‘handed over to the community’.  This is a poor phrase, because no-one knows what it really means.
In other places where this is the case, members of the local community are already organised to run their local library – this is what is happening in nearby Werrington.  However, here, the local parish council has expressed no interest in doing that.

What will probably happen is that the current staff will be made redundant, and that VAST, an agency that recruits volunteers, will be tasked with finding local people to come forward and do voluntary work at the library. This will take place over the next six months.  More than likely, the library will be given an advisor by the main Staffordshire County Library Service to oversee the situation.
What the new hours will be, and what services the ‘new’ library can provide are up in the air.

The one blessing is that Cheadle Library stays fully open.

Mobile library

And what about the mobile library that visits Draycott once every six weeks?
Well, as reported in the newspapers a while back, that service is the next under threat.
We now know that, during the next few months, a ‘review’ of the service will be carried out.  We all know what that might lead to…

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