Protestors fail in bid to halt library move

By Sarah Judkins Thursday 18 July 2013 Updated: 18/07 11:22

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Shirley Library users protested at the Solihull Civic Suite call-in meeting. (s)

FINAL efforts to block Shirley Library’s move to the Parkgate Centre have failed.

After the three hour debate on Monday the council’s call-in committee voted in four to three in favour of the decision.

Coun Kate Wild, cabinet member for community services, originally approved the controversial move last month.

She said yesterday (Wednesday): “Taking all factors into consideration, I firmly believe relocating the library to Parkgate will enable us to create a flagship library and information centre, with superb facilities, which we simply can not do in the current building.

“We are future proofing the library and building a library for the 21st century which we could not do if it remained where it is.”

The last ditch effort to force a rethink saw a large number of Shirley residents opposed to the plan to pack into the public gallery for Monday’s meeting.

Trevor Eames, secretary for Solihull Ratepayers’ Association, told councillors they council was riding roughshod over public opinion.

He added: “The council now stood to lose a lot of angry library customers in Shirley which was no way to run a successful business.

“We are also very worried about taking on a 25 year lease in an expensive retail unit in Parkgate at a time when the library service budget was facing cutbacks elsewhere.”

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