Posted: Fri 5th Feb 2016

Five Vale libraries could be taken over by community groups /
This article is old - Published: Friday, Feb 5th, 2016

Community groups could take over the running of five libraries in the Vale of Glamorgan from April if the recommendations of a report are agreed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council on Monday. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Council has been working with community groups in Dinas Powys, Sully, Wenvoe, St Athan and Rhoose since May 2015 to help them prepare to take over the running of their local libraries. The final stage in the process has now been reached and legal agreements could soon be drawn up to lease buildings and transfer other assets associated with the libraries to the groups. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Council has set aside a fund of nearly £100k to cover each group’s set up costs and make improvements to each of the library buildings. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Stuart Egan, said: “A huge amount of work has been undertaken by all those involved to bring us to this point. In the five community groups we have found teams of individuals as passionate about the library service as we are. If the transfer of the libraries is now able to go ahead, as we all hope it will, then I have no doubt that these groups will prove to be excellent custodians of these much valued assets.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Work towards the transfer of the five libraries to the community has been underway since a strategy to safeguard the Vale’s libraries for the future was agreed in March 2015. Expressions of interest in running the county’s smaller libraries were sought in May 2015 and since this time the Council has been providing training to the groups that came forward and helping them to develop their plans to run the facilities. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

If community libraries are established then as well as the library buildings, the groups would be provided with a wide selection of books which will be regularly updated, access to books from other libraries, furniture, and IT equipment. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Once established the community libraries will continue to receive support and guidance from the Council’s library team. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The transfer of these five libraries is part of a larger reshaping of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s library service which it is estimated will result in savings of £525,000 during 2015/16 and 2016/17. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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