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Bilston Library move put on ice

By Jessica Labhart | Bilston | News | Published:

The decision over whether to move a library from its historic home has been put off so the council can carry out a more detailed study of the options.

Bilston Library

Bilston Library, which is currently based on Mount Pleasant where it has been housed for 145 years, could be moved to Bilston Town Hall or another location as part of council plans.

The council’s Transforming Libraries Strategy 2017-2027 had put forward the suggestion to move the library.

As part of a consultation with the public, the council was able to gauge people’s opinion on the plans with 635 having their say. A total of 167 people were for the library staying at its current home, with 138 opting for it to move to the town hall.

Some 26 people would like to see it move to another location while 108 had no opinion and 196 left the answer box blank.

Now the council is to carry out a detailed feasibility study on the options for the library and report back on its findings before a decision is made.

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s Cabinet on Wednesday, Councillor John Reynolds, cabinet member for city economy, said: “I think the main thing to say is that we are keeping the same number of libraries and keeping them open in the context of the national climate surrounding the closure of libraries.

“The key thing from this in relation to Bilston Library is that we will conduct a detailed feasibility study and report back to the council in due course.”

As part of the approved 10-year plan, all 16 of the city’s libraries will be maintained with several having see extended opening hours where visitors can self serve to take books in and out. Long Knowle Library, based on Wood End Road, will open from 12.30pm to 3.30pm on Wednesdays – an increase of 20 per cent. Ashmore Park Library, based on Griffiths Drive, will open from 10am till 1pm on Wednesdays and Fridays, an increase of 25 per cent.

Low Hill Library could also see its opening hours extended and layout changed after discussions with the Low Hill community association. The new opening hours will be brought in from July 31 2017.

Jessica Labhart

By Jessica Labhart
@JLabhart_star

Reporter for the Express & Star, primarily covering Wolverhampton.

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