People power saves local library
Latest News ( 28/02/17)
The proposed down grading of Glebe Farm library has been stopped by Unison stewards and the local community.
There were over one thousand names on the local 'Save Glebe Farm Library' petitions and local campaigners fought very hard against the proposed downgrading of opening hours. There were four demonstrations and the camapign against Community Libraries being reformed had nearly two thousand "Be Heard" questionnaires returned, which was one of the biggest "Be Heard" consultations responses ever.
This comes at a time when other proposed cuts and reformations to local libraries by the Council has been adjusted or even stopped. The most high profile being the closure of Sutton Coldfield , which attracted over six thousand signatures and a lot of media attention.
Latest News (07/02/17)
Sutton Coldfield's 6,500 plus people power petition and media campaign paid off when Birmingham Councillors backed down on their proposals to close the library. The same has happened in Aston.
Sutton Coldield's Library Lobby said
"The Library Lobby very warmly welcomes the news that Deputy Ian Ward is to recommend to Cabinet the shelving of immediate plans for the closure of Sutton Coldfield library to allow time for a financially sustainable library model to be drawn up.
We note that "The model being considered for Sutton Coldfield Library is based on achieving additional income through property rental" and are delighted to learn that Birmingham City Council will finally be taking seriously the opportunity they have to create additional income in the Red Rose Centre.
The past few months have been an extremely difficult time for library staff and The Library Lobby would like to acknowledge the professional service they have continued to provide in the face of great uncertainty. From the outset The Library Lobby has put librarians at the heart of what we've campaigned for, and now, more than ever we will need to work closely together on creating and implementing a plan to create the best community library in Birmingham."
In Glebe Farm , scene of many protests, The Birmingham Post (06/02/17) reports that Councillor's have taken on board that "residents suggested the closure of Kents Moat Library as part of the plan to regenerate the Poolway Shopping parade in which it is based."
Aston's closure has been shelved too. Councillor's want "partnerships" to be developed to help run some of the libraries and at the moment there is little explaination of how this may work in terms of practicality and staff working conditions.
Latest News (24/01/17)
The demonstration went well outside Glebe Farm Library on Saturday 21st January with Unison stewards and the public. Lots of people then attended the meeting with the five local Councillors 11.00-12.30 in the library.
The agreement was that the five councillors will support Glebe Farm Library moving into Tier 2 status from Tier 3 which would drastically reduce its' operation. Good News!
The Cabinet meet on 14th February when the decision will be made on the future of Birmingham Community Libraries.
Meanwhile in Sutton Coldfield the Birmingham Post ( 24 Jan 2017) reports that the local town council is putting forard aproposal to temporarily keep the libray open by awarding it £150,000 . The public outcry in Sutton has been very big one.
More than 6,500 names have been put to petitions calling for a library to be retained - even if it has to relocate to a smaller, more moderately priced building.
It is to debate a motion calling for it to use its own money to keep the service afloat on January 24. The Post article reports that:
"This council resolves to allocate £150,000 from the unallocated portion of its 2016/17 budget, to use if necessary to support the continued provision of a library service in the town centre after April 1, 2017, in order to enable a long-term solution to be finalised."
But the Conservatives, who dominate the council, are likely to propose an amendment - particularly as they do not believe the town council should be paying for core services like libraries.
The town council was set up to provide top-up services and raises its funds through a premium on the council tax.
Conservative councillor Ewan Mackey (Trinity) said: "We are behind the spirit of the motion, we are all fighting to keep the library service in the town centre. "But, as it stands, the motion will not solve the problem. "Birmingham has the legal duty to provide the library service.
"Sutton residents pay their council tax to Birmingham and are entitled to receive that service."
The town council has been given until January 27 to come up with a rescue plan."
Latest News (17/01/17)
Union stewards and members of the public are continuing to protest at the proposed cuts to community libraries.
Glebe Farm will be the scene of more protests: The Friends of the Libraries of Birmingham issued the following notice.
"The local Councillors and Member of Parliament will be meeting with local residents at the library on Saturday 21st January 11.00 am to 12.30 pm to discuss the future of the library.
There will be a demonstration outside the library from 10.20-10.50 am to make views known about the proposal to asset transfer the library to a private organisation or to close it!
We need as many people as possible to join the demonstration outside the library. Thank you for supporting the campaign. Please come along and join us for the FINAL PUSH!"
Meanwhile in Sutton a huge amount of publicity and opposition to the closure of the library has taken place. Over 6,500 signatures ahve appeared on petetions to keep the library.For more see the article from the local Sutton Coldfield Observer here .
Latest News ( 03/01/17)
Union stewards met with community Library staff on 15th December. Consultations with management will be on 6th January. The Public Consultation closes on 27th January.
Protestors aim to hand over a petition aganist the closure of Sutton Coldfield library to Cllr Rob Pocock (Lab: Sutton Vesey).They are hoping that their views will be discussed on 17th January at the next full council meeting.
Meanwhile Friends of The Libraries of Bimingham have collected public views on the proposed model and are hoping the views will be taken into account. They have put them, to the 10 District Committees.
Amongst the concerns are:
- The £884,000 cost of new self service machines.
- The loss of free community rooms
- That more cuts are on the north side of the city , than the south.
- The walking distance to the libraries that are operating.
For the full document, please download it from the bottom of this page.
Latest News ( 29/11/16)
On Wednesday 23rd November a group of protestors against the cuts and private management of Glebe Farm Library. They marched form the library to the local shops to raise awareness of their campaign and then went on to a local school, where they colelcted over 200 signatures from the public against the proposed changes. The school's headmaster supports the campaign. In addition Councillor Basharat Dad (Stechford and Yardley North) has been leafleting the area to raise awareness of the issue amongst residents. MP Jess Phillips also supports the campaign.
Latest News (15/11/16)
UNISON stewards and members of the public met to protest outside South Yardley Library to protest about the cuts to community libraries, highlighting Glebe Farm Library. Protestors then went to the consultation meetings in the library.
Latest News (08/11/16)
There will be a demonstration to save Glebe Farm Library at South Yardley Library, Yardley Road,B25 8LT 5.15-6.00pm outside the library and then going into a counsultation meeting 6-8pm. Cllr Ian Ward will be attendeing. Campaigners will be publcising the demo arounfd the local area.
There will be a briefing at Glebe Farm library 11am -12noon on Tuesday 29th November for anyone interested in campaigning. Support for the campaign has come form local schools and Jess Phillips MP.
A business case has gone to Cabinet and there have been two staff briefings. The public consultation on the proposals (detailed below) finishes in January 2017. Trade Unions have at least 45 days to consult with members and management.
Meanwhile Cllr Ian Ward has been holding public meetings to discuss the proposals.
Birmingham Unison has set up a Fund Our Libraries Campaign along with Friends of the Libraries of Birmingham(FLOB). Sutton Coldfiled Library was visited on October 19th by campaigners and 376 signatures against the proposals were collected. Since then addtional signatures have been added.
Campaigners were also heard on the Adrian Goldberg show (BBC Radio WM) and their actions appeared in the local Sutton Oberver and got a mention on BBC Midlands Today.
In Aston , the Aston Residents Association with FLOB have been campaigning against the closure of Aston library.
The Council has said their Be Heard Website will be the place to comment.
A reminder of the proposals and Birmingham Unison's position.
Having cut staff and hours at the Library Of Birmingham last year, the Council announced that they are looking at doing the same to the Community Libraries.
On October 18th a report goes to Cabinet which will propose a reduction in posts to 88.66 from 112.49. Effectively it will mean 24 redundancies. Sutton and Aston Library are set to close and the Coucil wants to introduce a three tiered service.
Tier 1 Libraries - 35 hours per week
Kings Heath, Ward End, Small Heath, Acocks Green, Northfield, South Yardley, Sparkhill, Erdington, Balsall Heath, Hall Green, Harborne, Mere Green (48 hrs), Kings Norton, Handworth, Quinton, Shard End, Weoley Castle, Yardley Wood, Birchfield
Tier 2 will open 21 hours a week
Walmley, Kingstanding, Perry Common, Boldmere, Frankley, Druids Heath, Spring Hill, Tower Hill, Stirchley, Sheldon
Tier 3 - 15 hrs per week (community led)
West Heath, Glebe Farm, Bartley Green, Bloomsbury, Kents Moat, Selly Oak.
Worryingly the Council are looking to organisations to run the tier 3 libraries . The use of volunteers is being proposed. This is something that has already proved a disaster for libraries in Herefordshire.
The proposals are looking at just 3 staff to run the library and also agency staff to be working as and when required.
Birmingham Unison stewards are opposed to the loss of staff and the impact of the changes on its'members in libraries.
We will be mounting a FUND YOUR LIBRARIES campaign and are going to circulate a petition to oppose the cuts.
Please download the flyer below and write to your MP and Councillors to protest about the cuts to services and closure of libraries.
We also have a petition that can be downloaded to be signed against the closures of Aston and Sutton Libraries. Download Friends of Library of Birmingham flyer File Download Fund Our Library Councillors and MP contacts File Download Stop The Closure of Sutton Library File Download Stop the closure of Aston Library File Download Libraries Public Consultation views December 2016 File