Volunteers get power to take over running library
VOLUNTEERS have been given the go-ahead to take over running Brockworth Library.
But a dampner has been put on celebrations after the parish council refused a request for £45,000 funding amid fears the enterprise may fail.
Instead it agreed to give just one year's funding of £15,000.
Power to manage the Moorfield Road facility will pass to Brockworth Community Project (BCP) on November 1.
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It offered to inherit the responsibility from Gloucestershire County Council to save the library from closure and has a team of 60 volunteers ready to staff it in shifts.
It costs £30,000 to run the library and BCP will also be in charge of any repairs to the building.
It requested £45,000 over three years from Brockworth Parish Council to help fund two paid members of staff who will oversee the library and co-ordinate volunteers.
BCP chairman Neil Hopwood told a parish meeting last week: "We don't believe a purely volunteer-run library is sustainable.
"It needs some professional management."
But councillors pointed out "holes" in the business plan.
Councillor Carole Neal said they were relying on grants to make up the rest of the funding but may not get it in the current climate.
She said: "It seems like such a leap of faith and mine is gone."
Councillor Vince Perez said: "You have no track record that you will be successful."
In the last parish survey, 56 per cent of households responded and of those, 75 per cent said they would like the library to remain open.
But Councillor Ron Furolo said the three-year request was not "responsible spending".
Mr Hopgood said a "saving grace" for Brockworth was it had areas of deprivation, meaning it qualified for certain grants. However he also revealed a six-month "exit clause" had been written into the agreement with the council.
He added: "If you don't agree to fund three years, I don't think it would be a showstopper."
The council voted by a majority to give one year's funding of £15,000.