30th September – November 8th 2019
From: Friends of Church Stretton Library,
We have just learnt that Shropshire Council are running another consultation to help them develop a new library strategy. Here is your opportunity to influence their decision by responding to the survey at https://shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/library-strategy-engagement-and-consultation/ before November 8th 2019
Why a new strategy?
We are not surprised Shropshire Council is developing a new strategy so soon after the previous one, which was approved in Jan 2018.
In this earlier strategy, tier 2 libraries such as Church Stretton were meant to be:
- Hosted and managed by local community organisations within contract arrangements with Shropshire Council
- Receive a maximum of five year time limited tapered revenue support from Shropshire Council and be totally funded by the local community by the end of 2022/23
In Jan 2018, following approval of this strategy, a procurement exercise was carried out where Shropshire Council invited local community organisations to bid to run the library in Church Stretton. None of the bids put forward were found to be viable. In January 2019, Shropshire Library services proposed a different approach where they continued to manage the library in Church Stretton, with financial support from both the Town Council and Friends of Church Stretton Library. We welcomed this approach believing it to be a much more practical and viable approach. Funding issues Church Stretton Library Support Group and the Town Council both challenged the unfairness of the 2018 strategy in which libraries in the largest (Tier 1) towns would continue to be funded from the county council tax. Smaller towns such as Church Stretton would be expected to pay for their Tier 2 Libraries from an additional local council tax, and would face potential reductions in staffing and opening hours. In addition, these smaller towns faced the prospect of having to take on the funding of leisure services, youth services, street lighting and other services There would also be no contribution from the many surrounding parishes, whose residents also use Tier 2 libraries. We will be submitting our own more detailed response to this consultation, and making the strongest representation that the new Library Strategy will address these.
Your response will help
We would encourage individuals to respond to this survey, before the dead-line of November 8th.
It is important that Shropshire Council understand how residents value not only the current opening hours, but also the range of services provided by the library. The survey can be found online at:
People who do not have online access can ask the library to print a copy of the survey. This can be sent by post to: Library Strategy Consultation, c/o Shropshire Council, Feedback and Insight Team (1L23), Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY2 6ND
Tier 1, 2 and 3 libraries
Tier 1 Libraries
Shrewsbury, Lantern, Oswestry, Market Drayton, Whitchurch, Ludlow, Bridgnorth
Tier 2 Libraries
Cleobury Mortimer, Church Stretton, Bishop’s Castle, Ellesmere, Wem, Pontesbury and Albrighton
Tier 3 Libraries
Brosely, Shifnal, Highley, Craven Arms, Much Wenlock, Gobowen, Bayston Hill
Friends of Church Stretton Library,
c/o Church Stretton Library,
Church Stretton SY6 6DQ.
CIO Charity Number 1182554