Published and promoted by Mike Booth, on behalf of Kew Ward Liberal Democrats, at 35 Shakespeare Street, Southport PR8 5AB. Hosted by Blogspot, who do not know or endorse the contents of this posting.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Birkdale Library Development

You will soon be able to buy your fruit and vegetable in Birkdale library, if Sefton's Labour Cabinet accept a proposal at next week's cabinet meeting.

The proposal comes from Sefton CVS.

If the Labour Cabinet decide to close the library, CVS plan to move their base from Shakespeare St to Birkdale library.

Their proposal states:

Our Vision for Birkdale Library:

In relocating from our current premises to Birkdale Library we believe we would be able to:
enhance the profile and reach our existing services that are currently being delivered from the sixth floor of an office block with limited parking

maintain many of the current services based at the library

develop additional services linked to emerging challenges such as welfare changes.

We would seek to develop a section of the building into an internet cafe that would enable the Henshaws group to continue, as well as providing community access points that could be used for job seekers, finding volunteering opportunities and benefit claims. 

This would also create a community meeting venue for isolated people. We would also create a dedicated training/meeting space that would support a range of community initiatives.

Maintenance of community information: - We will continue to provide local people access to community information through the internet and paper based resources. We will explore the provision of lifelong learning opportunities through partnerships with Colleges and VCF providers.

Sefton CVS have experience in establishing reading groups so will be able to continue to support the existing group.

Local History Groups –we will allocate space for this resource and work with U3A and the Library Service to maintain the group.

Storytime and Rhymetime – we have discussed with Parenting 2000 who will support the development of groups with expertise and resources.

Outreach Services for Sefton Library Service: We would look to work in partnership to recruit volunteers to support an at home library service for housebound people and to explore the possibility of operating a limited lending service for those who cannot get to the town centre service. We are aware that due to the potential dynamics of public access to Library services, this area of need will increase; therefore the Volunteer Centre would work with the Library Service to develop services with volunteers to address increase needs and demands.

Fruit and Vegetable Co-ops- possibility for the library to be used as a venue to sell fruit and vegetables to the local community at set times during the week. Fruit could also be sold to organisations and individuals attending the library.

Peer Mentors- the library will provide a valuable resource for the peer mentors, a space where they can invite people in for a chat in a pleasant environment. A successful bid has provided funding for more peer mentors to work with older people and those with long term conditions. The library setting will help to set up the networks and support for these peer mentors.

Lifestyle and behavioural change- the library will provide an environment for training and support for those people who want to make changes and to improve their health. Resources can be made available to help people to make those changes.

Partnership working – the library will enable us to further develop partnerships and to encourage a range of services that can be developed and delivered to the community from the library setting.

Modifications to the Building
We have not yet had the chance to have a full assessment of the building but believe the works required would not require major structural adaptations – other than toilet and kitchen. All partners would be prepared to work closely with the local authority to ensure that the building will continue to provide services that support the well- being and resilience of the community

I have highlighted parts of the text that I find most interesting.

Birkdale library is a branch library, not a huge central library. I do not see how CVS will be able to squeeze a lending library, cafe, greengrocers, interview room, local history space, training space, meeting space and office space into the building without major structural adaptations.

My suspicious nature grows stronger as the Labour leadership of Sefton continues.

I ask myself the following:

  • How long has the cabinet member concerned known about this proposal?
  • If relocating to a library is such a good idea, why aren't CVS planning on a similar set up in a library due for closure in the south of the borough?
  • Why wasn't this proposal included in the library consultation?
  • Why was the agenda for the cabinet meeting posted after 3pm on Wednesday, thereby being too late for the local press to include the news in today's papers?
My final question is to the resident's of Southport.

Do you want a library or do you want a cafe that sells a few spuds and carrots with a bookcase stuffed with old books tucked away in a corner somewhere?

If you do want the CVS version I wouldn't bother trying to arrive by car as the car park will be full of staff cars as I believe there are something like 40 people currently employed at their Shakespeare St premises.

1 comment:

  1. Yes Mike, good questions. Odd isn't it that there is a broadly based citizens camapign about the Library in Birkdale with over 4000 people supporting them and we have heard not a peep from the CVS. Community Development is something done with local people not visited upon them. Like the Bootle led Sefton council this has the stench of the 'Governor General' mentality about it. If the Council want community bids then they should ask for them -preferably from the comunity.