Future of Middleton Cheney Library up for discussion next week
January 15th, 2019
Further to our article earlier this month about Northamptonshire Council’s libraries consultation exercise (read it here) King’s Sutton’s book lovers are hoping for a good turnout at at Middleton Cheney Library between 11:00 and 14:00 on Wednesday January 23 when council officials will be available to discuss its future. This is a positive opportunity for the area’s residents to help shape the library for all current users and for generations to come.
The county council’s proposals
It is proposed that Middleton Cheney Library will be run by a community group in its current location but will remain part of the county-wide statutory provision. Discussions have taken place with the Supporters of Middleton Cheney Library, a well-established group that runs many activities in the library and is currently helping to maintain the library’s published opening hours with volunteer support. It is proposed that this group takes over the running of the library, with financial support from the parish council.
Services would continue to support community needs, providing book lending as well as additional services such as Blue Badge applications and bus pass renewals where appropriate (and at the group’s discretion). Some universal children’s services currently provided at Middleton Cheney Library wiould also continue to be delivered.
This could mean changes to the current opening hours – either an increase or a decrease – but there would be an agreed minimum.
Accessibility is an issue for Middleton Cheney, being outside of the 5-mile radius from alternative proposed statutory provision. As Middleton Cheney Library would remain part of the statutory provision, should it become unviable as a community-run library, NCC would seek to find alternative provision to ensure it continued to provide a statutory service.
There is £44,000 Section 106 money available to invest in the development of Middleton Cheney Library.