A GROUP of volunteers are set to submit a bid to take over the management of Cheadle Library. The new Cheadle Community Library group, consisting of volunteers, will put together an application to run the facility with support from Staffordshire County Council. Cheadle is one of four libraries in Staffordshire to join 20 others under the community management scheme, which aims to reduce costs to tax-payers while retaining library services.
Groups planning to run the service have to apply by Monday, November 26.
At a meeting last Tuesday night, the group agreed to put together a submission and, to that end, have launched an appeal for people in and around the Cheadle area to help shape the future of the service.
Liz Haines is a member of the group. She said: “As a librarian myself had mixed feelings about the community taking on our library service, however it would sadden me to have such a vital resource for our community drastically reduced.
“Libraries are fantastic places for the young to learn, imagine and grow their minds, for adults to find information, be mindful and make some time to get lost in a book and for older adults to connect with others.
“Libraries can be a great place for communities to come together and much more than books.
“As Cheadle Community Library Group we are working together to put a bid in on November 26 but we are always looking to find more volunteers and more people to get involved.
“If you don’t have time to volunteer then get involved by letting us know what you love about your library and what you would like to see happen in our library.”
Jo Darrant, chairman at Dilhorne Recreation Centre, offered the centre as a venue for the initial meeting of the group. She said: “We’ve set up a Facebook group and spoken to representatives from Cheadle Discovery Group and Team Cheadle.
“From that we’ve formed a small committee that is going to put a bid in to become the group that manages the library.
“What we would like to see is for people who would like to volunteer to come forward.
“Anybody who is interested in arts, heritage or well-being to get in contact with us and for the wider community to let us know what it is they want from their library.
“If there’s something people want in the library as a venue for groups and organisations, then we can look at providing that.
“We’ve got a rough idea of what we think is going to be beneficial and what we would like to see, but we’re wanting people to come forward with their ideas and visions to help us shape something that will fit the community.”
Market trader and Cheadle Town Council member, Dave Sargeant is also a member of the group. He added: “We’re going to put a bid in and we’ve got to decide what kind of organisation we’re going to be. We’re looking for ideas. Even if we can’t put everything in the initial bid, it will allow us to explore different ideas as we go through the application process.”
To help Cheadle Community Library Group gain some insight into thoughts on the future of the library service, the Times & Echo are asking readers to cut out and return the form in this week’s paper before midday on Friday, November 23 to our offices at 18, Tape Street, Cheadle, ST10 1BD or by email to email@example.com.
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