Council plans to hijack Oswestry Library
20th February 2012
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Latest from Shropshire Council website:

Shropshire Council is working with other public and voluntary sector organisations in Oswestry to create a ‘one-stop shop’, located in Oswestry Library.

Expected to be up and running by April 2012, this will provide customers with access to a wide range of services and information in one place.

Councillor Tina Woodward, Shropshire Council’s deputy Cabinet member, said:

    “This new ‘hub’ gives the council an opportunity to enhance the service provision for our customers in Oswestry, as well as making the best use of our resources.”

Keith Barrow, Shropshire Councillor for Oswestry South, and Leader of the Council, said:

    “This service hub is a new way of working which will protect the long-term future of our libraries; especially important as we face the possibility of further Government cuts to our funding.

    “While other councils are closing their libraries, this will give us the opportunity to make some savings by reducing the number of buildings we operate and sharing staffing resources, while delivering more and better services to our customers.

    “We are aiming to have something up and running in April, although we know that we won’t have all our partners on board from day one.  We expect to have a small number of partners working with us in April, and will bring more on line over time.”



I'm a regular and enthusiastic customer of Oswestry Library, and yet today, I learned of a Shropshire Council plan that looks, according to their own documents, all signed and sealed, cut and dried, done and dusted.

It would appear that "from April" the council have decided to hijack Oswestry Library Foyer and dump a load of services in there completely unrelated to the library such as housing benefit, council tax and cholesterol checks.

I kid you not.

Have you been consulted?  Has anyone you know?  Are the council beyond asking?

In fact, while they are at it, why not move A&E into the Theatre Severn. *joke*

Such a move will alter the whole sense of the library.  It will "the bit behind the council offices."  Ask any shop or business and they will tell you that the entrance is vital - it sets the tone and the experience.

It's the plan of someone who has been told to save money whatever the cost to the soul of a town, and a library is a vital organ.

I just find it incredibly sad, first of all, that such a move can be even entertained, and secondly, angry that it is deemed so unimportant as to ask no-one what they think about it!

It's clear that the council have an important and difficult task on their hands though it is one thing to cut the fat, but when you cut into the muscle, the limb stops working.

Shropshire Council - you are in grave danger of cutting into muscle. Beware.

Whether or not you agree with me, I'd be interested to hear your views.

About the Author

John W

Member since: 10th July 2012

A quick introduction - I'm John Waine, Director of TheBestOfOswestry. Having lived in this beautiful area for around 20 years now, I have decided to stay. :)

With kind thanks

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