Thomas Bridge 29 September 2014

City’s libraries poised for volunteer takeover

City’s libraries poised for volunteer takeover image

Volunteers are poised to take over almost half of a city’s libraries as part of cost cutting plans to save £1.6m.

Groups of residents have agreed to take charge of managing 13 branches in Sheffield, taking responsibility for fundraising and setting the programme of activities.

Councillors said that handing the libraries over to volunteers would ensure the city’s 28 branches could remain open despite town hall efficiency drives.

Sheffield City Council has agreed to cover maintenance and upkeep costs at the volunteer-run libraries.

Cllr Mazher Iqbal, the local authority’s cabinet member for communities and public health, said: ‘I would like to personally thank each and every volunteer for all their hard work, as they take responsibility for running their community libraries from Monday.

‘Everyone has put in an incredible amount of work and I’m very pleased to say, thanks to the people of Sheffield, all 28 libraries in our city are staying open.’

It’s now or never for modern democracy image

It’s now or never for modern democracy

The electoral landscape is now ‘more crowded than ever’, while council resources have been ground down, says Laura Lock – and she warns that professionals do not have limitless capacity.
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