Solihull MBC Library Services have approached the Hampton-in-Arden Local History Group (affiliated to the Hampton-in-Arden Society) for ideas on the future of our local library. It is the least used and therefore least cost-effective branch library in the Borough, and Solihull are seeking local views and ideas on its future.
Warwickshire County Council (WCC) have pioneered an alternative strategy since 2011 when they decided that many of their village libraries were no longer viable and helped create several of what they call ‘Community Managed Libraries’. Examples include Baddesley, Henley-in-Arden and Water Orton. These Community Managed Libraries are typically run by local community groups with support from county library services. They often share premises with other public buildings (e.g. village halls or shops). A good example is the facility at Henley-in-Arden which has been established as a private, not-for-profit company with limited opening hours (4 days a week) and is run by local volunteers. Something like this could be a viable option for Hampton.
Roger Shinton, who is chairman of the Local History Group, is taking a lead in assembling a Working Group of interested parties to come together and consider possible proposals on ways forward. The Parish Council is anxious to play its part in helping to optimise the future for this service and will be joining this group. Our Ward Councillor, Alison Rolf, has also undertaken to join the group. We will be working our hardest to protect our local library.