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New council leader shares his views on library future

John Clancy , the new Labour Council leader in Birmingham has set out his views on libraries. This includes the much debated Library of Birmingham.

From The Birmingham Post 15/12/15:

He was speaking at the public meeting of the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel - the Government-appointed expert group overseeing improvement of the inner workings of the city council.

The panel invited members of the public to quiz the new Labour council leader, chief executive Mark Rogers and other leading councillors on progress made a year after the Kerslake report found deep rooted problems at the city council.

The Friends of the Library of Birmingham group and Birmingham Against The Cuts both called on the council leadership to stand up to the Government over the funding cuts.

But councillor Clancy, who has been leader for just two weeks, responded that, under the partnership deal with the Brasshouse Language Centre, the Library of Birminghamwould now have longer opening hours next year.

He said: "We have made some progress in relation to its opening hours. The Library of Birmingham is a real headache. We have to look at it as an asset.

"If we can drive down the spending on the library, then we will have more to spend in local libraries."

But he warned that, even then, as a result of the cuts local libraries would have to "re-imagine themselves" and their spaces and facilities used in different ways.

"I have to realistic, there is a vision for this city but a realistic one," he added.



On the 22/12/15 there was news of further tenants coming to the Library of Birmingham , as Google Digital moved out. The implications of this are unknown at the time of writing. 


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