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Wait continues for Walkley library decision

Walkley Library  hub of the community

Walkley Library hub of the community

  • by Ellen Beardmore
 

Campaigners are still waiting to find out who will run a Sheffield library – just weeks before it needs to be taken over.

Libraries where Sheffield Council has relinquished control are due to be run by communities from the end of September.

But a decision has still not been made on the future of Walkley library – where two business plans were submitted, one from a community group and another from The Forum group of bars and restaurants.

Many talks have taken place between council chiefs and applicants in recent weeks in a bid to get the two organisations working together.

A date for an announcement has not been confirmed with the council only saying it will be ‘soon’.

Chris Reece, of the Walkley Community Libraries Future Group, said: “We are still in discussions with the council.

“It’s not a stalemate, things are moving, but they are still looking at all sorts of options and we just have to wait.”

The council said training had been offered to both organisations as with all other approved library groups.

Counc Mazher Iqbal, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for communities said: “We’ve continued to work with the two organisations that submitted business plans for Walkley Library.

“Both plans had strengths which could potentially complement each other so we’ve facilitated discussions to see if the organisations are interested in working together.

“Our aim is to get the best outcome for Walkley Library which is why we have dedicated extra time to identifying what this might look like.

“We’ve offered training to both organisations, as we have for all library groups, to enable them to take over responsibility of the library.

“We will make an announcement about what this will look like for Walkley Library soon.”

Discussions regarding Burngreave library – where campaigners were given more time to submit a business plan – also continue.

 

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