Villagers' Meltham Library plan could save Kirklees Council 80%

But Meltham residents still need council's help

Carlile Institute, Meltham.

Meltham residents have submitted a plan to keep their library open at one-fifth of the cost.

But those campaigning to keep Meltham Library open say they still need practical and financial support from Kirklees Council.

Villagers met on Thursday to discuss the future of the library which is under threat of closure due to council budget cuts.

They hope to move the library from Meltham Town Hall across the street to the Carlile Institute where it will operate on the same floor as the community run post office.

A committee of approximately 12 members is expected to form following Thursday’s meeting.

It will discuss its proposal to Kirklees Council’s head of libraries Carol Stump later this week.

Villagers say the plan could save the council 80% of the library’s current running costs.

The proposal includes a computer suite, children’s area and section for adult books which would be run by paid council staff and unpaid volunteers.

Among the project leaders is Holme Valley North independent councillor Edgar Holroyd-Doveton.

Clr Holroyd Doveton said: “We had a very successful meeting.

“We hope to have a steering group and over a dozen people have put their names forward.

“The library will be where it used to be and it’ll be next to the post office. The two will complement each other in terms of footfall.

“Our job is to persuade Kirklees Council to fund it.

“We think it can be run at much less than it is currently.”

But Clr Holroyd-Doveton says the plan needs some support from Kirklees Council to ensure the library offers a satisfactory service.

Under current proposals only Huddersfield and Dewsbury libraries will receive council funding while the remainder will be relinquished to community control.

Clr Holroyd-Doveton said: “It has to be a partnership with Kirklees. The key word is ‘partnership’.

“There’s no support for going it alone.

“We don’t accept the no funding proposal; we need professional support from Kirklees’ library services.”

 
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