Update on future of Shepley Library

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Shepley Village Association have been looking into the possibility of facilitating a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) of the Library building to a Community Interest Company (CIC) in an aim to save the library and more importantly a valuable village building and community asset that cannot be replaced once gone.

The SVA meeting on the 30th September was organised because there seems to be a lot of confusion throughout the village regarding the future of our libraries and the decisions being made by Kirklees. The council has 26 libraries, a mobile library service, a home delivery service to housebound people and a number of services from translation for braille and audio to book clubs.

At the meeting the Chief Librarian, Carol Stump reiterated the published council budget reductions and how this would affect the library service. There are currently two budget options proposed for libraries, a cut from approximately £6 million to either £2.5 million or if additional funds can be found £3.9 million. The £2.5 million budget would provide a library at Huddersfield and Dewsbury, the Home service and the transcription service only and if an additional £1.4 million is found this could mean further library models based on community engagement to support and run that library service could be funded.

The council cabinet budget decision will take place mid-February. This budget is for the library services and not the buildings, the buildings are managed corporately within Kirklees and savings will have to be made there independently to the libraries. To enable the retention of the library premises, a transfer of the library asset (premises) can be achieved to a community interest company / management trust. Community involvement and partnership is already happening in other locations within Kirklees. At the moment this smaller budget has to be in place by 1st April 2017 at the latest and from April 1st 2015 Kirklees will be planning and working towards the new budget.

As you can see from the results tables below our village questionnaire response was 74% in favour of the library assets transfer along with some fantastic offers of support from the village. It is interesting to note the majority of over 60’s did not support the asset transfer of the library.

Our intentions now are to pursue an asset transfer of the building before it is too late and secure the future of the building through community effort and imaginative business ideas.

Activities in order of favourite… over all Score
Library, e-book rental & electronic registration 344
Meeting venue for local groups 342
Technology centre 290
Over 60's club 280
Coffee shop/tea room 274
Local produce market day 232
Computer gaming, Xbox etc. 229
Private party venue, birthdays etc. 221
Youth club 216
Small business hub 210
Movie night 208
Votes in favour of asset transfer to community 74%
Votes against asset transfer to community 26%

 

Activities in order of favourite 12 to 25 years old Score
Coffee shop/tea room 17
Computer gaming, Xbox etc. 16
Library, e-book rental & electronic registration 16
Meeting venue for local groups 14
Youth club 14
Technology centre 14
Movie night 13
Over 60's club 10
Private party venue, birthdays etc. 8
Local produce market day 8
Small business hub 7
Votes in favour of asset transfer to community 100%
Votes against asset transfer to community 0%

 

Activities in order of favourite 25 to 40 year olds Score
Library, e-book rental & electronic registration 114
Meeting venue for local groups 113
Technology centre 97
Over 60's club 96
Coffee shop/tea room 95
Local produce market day 90
Computer gaming, Xbox etc. 84
Small business hub 80
Youth club 79
Movie night 77
Private party venue, birthdays etc. 71
Votes in favour of asset transfer to community 85%
Votes against asset transfer to community 15%
Activities in order of favourite 40 to 60 year olds Score
Meeting venue for local groups 116
Library, e-book rental & electronic registration 113
Coffee shop/tea room 103
Technology centre 101
Over 60's club 92
Local produce market day 90
Computer gaming, Xbox etc. 87
Small business hub 83
Movie night 82
Private party venue, birthdays etc. 78
Youth club 71
Votes in favour of asset transfer to community 88%
Votes against asset transfer to community 12%

 

Activities in order of favourite over 60's Score
Library, e-book rental & electronic registration 101
Meeting venue for local groups 99
Over 60's club 82
Technology centre 78
Private party venue, birthdays etc. 64
Coffee shop/tea room 59
Youth club 46
Local produce market day 44
Computer gaming, Xbox etc. 42
Small business hub 40
Movie night 36
Votes in favour of asset transfer to community 40%
Votes against asset transfer to community 60%

 

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