Five Wolverhampton libraries saved from axe

Five closure-threatened libraries in Wolverhampton were today saved from the axe – but the fate of four others was sealed, despite huge campaigns from supporters.

Residents, children and staff from East Park Primary School campaigning against the closure of East Park Library.
Residents, children and staff from East Park Primary School campaigning against the closure of East Park Library.

Thousands of people joined forces to campaign against Wolverhampton City Council plans to shut or merge nine libraries in a bid to save £1.1 million a year.

And this afternoon council bosses announced Finchfield, East Park, Low Hill, Whitmore Reans and Penn libraries would remain open as they are.

Others at Warstones, Ashmore Park and Spring Vale will close and be moved elsewhere, while Collingwood Library in Bushbury will close and be relocated as a self-service facility.

A final decision is yet to be made over Bilston Library. Council bosses have come under fire for the controversial plans to create a series of “community hubs” across the city by merging library, community and youth services.

Thousands signed petitions objecting.

East Park will convert into a community hub from 2014 but campaigners won a crucial victory in persuading the council to leave it in its present location.

Councillor Elias Mattu said: “People told us, please, do your best to protect these services. That’s precisely what we aim to achieve.”

Long Knowle, Pendeford and Wednesfield libraries will not move but will also be converted to provide community and youth centres. Of the city’s 13 youth clubs, nine will stay as they are and four – Ashmore Park, Low Hill, Mirage in Pendeford and Oakley Buckley Youth Club in Penn – will move in with libraries.

Comments for: "Five Wolverhampton libraries saved from axe"

R Beardsmore

What a tragic day when one of the most popular libraries at Ashmore park is set to close despite the protest of so many people who have used and appreciated this facility for many years. We should be encouraging people to use these facilities not closing them, another example of big brother in the city center neglecting the needs of outlying communities. The support given by some local councilors was pathetic.

The priorities are to spend/waste huge sums of money on eye catching projects linking the village to Bentley Bridge. the new library which is a high maintenance eyesore and the footbridge over the canal.

The wishes of the people should come before such wasteful projects.

Steph Jennings

The art project for Bentley Bridge is nothing to do with the council - The money is from private investment and if it breathes life back into the village then it is money well spent.

James

I for one am pleased to see the Hub proposals going ahead in Ashmore Park. Our library is not closing, nor is our community centre, they are simply relocating 180 meters up the road to what will be a fit for purpose building once the hub opens.

The old Library building should be pulled down creating more car parking spaces for the local shops and the ageing community centre which is full of cracks and leaks can move to a more suitable building, one that will last into the future.

Many people in Ashmore Park constantly complain that "we don't get anything around here", yet when the opportunity of major investment comes along they resist it, which makes no sense to me!

There has been a 'no' campaign in terms of the hubs, but there has also been a 'yes' campaign and people have had ample opportunity to take part in the consultation should they wish to. Let's hope the new Hub brings everything that's been promised.

BOF

Have you heard what youth services will be applied at the hubs?

Please ask someone about who is allowed to receive services there and who is not.

Then perhaps you will reconsider that it means equality for all.

You aint heard nothing yet residents

Is this discrimination and inequality of treatment for residents. Some libraries stay where they are and others have to move.

Shame on you Labour for discriminating against some residents who have voiced there opinion that they disagree with your closing and moving other facilities! I gather 6000 residents do not want Warstones' Resource centre closed or changed into something that will not be recognisable.

So youth services for those identified youths will be available at the libraries and hubs? What will the local residents make of that I wonder? I would request lower council tax if it happened to my area!

Nor do people want you spending £5m on paving the roads and causing traffic chaos when a bus/ delivery van breaks down.

On you heads be it.

Oh, by the way do away with free parking for you and your staff too!