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Herefordshire Council's proposal for the Belmont Library in Financial Year 2017-18, commencing

1 April 2017, is that the library reverts to opening hours of 22.5 per week, staffed by professional librarians and South Wye Community Association is not to receive any payment from them for renting  this facility.

 

How SWCA is expected to meet the overheads of the Belmont Community Centre, when a large part of its facilities is occupied by a non-paying guest, consuming its resources, is literally the £10,000 question.

 

SWCA is a registered charity, constituted to undertake "good works" in the South Wye Area, but whether its remit extends to baling out Herefordshire Council, and gifting them a free ride in part of the Belmont Centre, may be stretching the Association's constitutional, best intentions a league too far.

 

So there is no misunderstanding, the trustees and volunteers of South Wye Community Association want to retain (and develop) the Belmont Library for the benefit of the wider local community. It currently has a footfall of 40,000 visitors per year, of all ages residing in the City, Belmont Rural Parish and most of the villages in the South of Herefordshire.

 

However, I recognise the  unsubtle difference between symbiosis and parasitism, and there is no such thing as a free meal!.

 

The proposal is unacceptable. I maintain that the Association should not be required to voluntarily bleed itself to death financially, by Herefordshire Council, in order to support the latter's own inadequacy, and to establish a Belmont Community Library.

 

All is yet not lost.. SWCA, including the writer, will try hard to get alternative income to keep the library open, but the clock is ticking.

 

This is my opinion and not that of the other SWCA trustees.

 

Andy Myatt

Trustee & treasurer SWCA.

 

 

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HC has often stooped to abyss like levels of morals and ethics but to propose a public service by leaching of the back of a charity! I'm curious who came up with that great idea (inserts thumbs down).

Are all trustees in agreement with apposing this and seeking an alternative arrangement Andy?

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Good Morning

 

I am also a Trustee of South Wye Community Centre as well as the County Councillor for Belmont Rural.  I believe all of the Trustees and Volunteers are committed to obtaining funds to keep the library open. 

 

We are planning to approach Belmont Rural Parish Council and Hereford City council for grants, which we hope will be granted to cover the next three years rental costs. This would mean that we can work on our plans to develop the Centre into a centre of Well Being and it will also give local residents peace of mind that the library will be open for at least another three years.

 

At the moment every year we are in the situation where we keep having to approach Parish Council for additional funding to cover the rent. We would like them to agree a three year funding plan so we can concentrate on improving the services we currently offer. Herefordshire Council would also assist with a one off payment of 5k which would help us to buy new book shelves, which are on wheels, replace the desk, seating etc.  South Wye Community Association would then be able to rent the room outside of library hours to other user groups, as the bookshelves could be moved.

 

H Wilson, at the moment the Council pay for the staffing costs plus some of the rental, the rest was made up of grants from Belmont Rural and Hereford City.  As Herefordshire Council will no longer be able to pay for any of the rent, we will approach both Parish Councils to see if they can cover all of the rental costs.

 

Herefordshire Council will pay for 22.5 hours worth of professional staff.  At the moment we are operating for extended hours as the main library is closed.  Under the new plan we would need to find volunteers to help with the additional hours if we wish to retain the extended opening times.

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Good Morning

 

I am also a Trustee of South Wye Community Centre as well as the County Councillor for Belmont Rural.  I believe all of the Trustees and Volunteers are committed to obtaining funds to keep the library open. 

 

We are planning to approach Belmont Rural Parish Council and Hereford City council for grants, which we hope will be granted to cover the next three years rental costs. This would mean that we can work on our plans to develop the Centre into a centre of Well Being and it will also give local residents peace of mind that the library will be open for at least another three years.

 

At the moment every year we are in the situation where we keep having to approach Parish Council for additional funding to cover the rent. We would like them to agree a three year funding plan so we can concentrate on improving the services we currently offer. Herefordshire Council would also assist with a one off payment of 5k which would help us to buy new book shelves, which are on wheels, replace the desk, seating etc.  South Wye Community Association would then be able to rent the room outside of library hours to other user groups, as the bookshelves could be moved.

 

H Wilson, at the moment the Council pay for the staffing costs plus some of the rental, the rest was made up of grants from Belmont Rural and Hereford City.  As Herefordshire Council will no longer be able to pay for any of the rent, we will approach both Parish Councils to see if they can cover all of the rental costs.

 

Herefordshire Council will pay for 22.5 hours worth of professional staff.  At the moment we are operating for extended hours as the main library is closed.  Under the new plan we would need to find volunteers to help with the additional hours if we wish to retain the extended opening times.

 

Thank you for the info Cllr. The community centre offers a much used meeting place for many local people as well as the library facility, I do hope that you manage to obtain the additional grants required to keep the centre providing these for the next 3 years. 

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