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Community steps in as Hoole library closes in Chester

A DEAL has been reached to deliver a volunteer library service from a community centre after Cheshire West and Chester Council shut Hoole library.

A DEAL has been reached to deliver a volunteer library service from a community centre after Cheshire West and Chester Council shut Hoole library.

The 60-year-old building had to close last week on health and safety grounds although council documents show consideration was being given to the relocation of the facility two years ago.

Hoole Community Development Trust has now reached agreement with the head of library services for the library to move into two rooms at the community centre.

Trust member Cllr Alex Black (Labour) said: “There is a lot to be done and I don't know how long it will take to get our new library up and running, but I don't expect to see it this side of Christmas.”

Out of the four members of staff, three have been redeployed to other branches and one has retired.

Cllr Black added: “They were part of our community, loved and appreciated by everyone. But we may see them visiting our new library.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council said Hoole residents will be consulted about the planned service and volunteers will be recruited and trained. Self-serve technology will be installed in the New Year along with computers to access the internet.

In the interim there will be a small number of adult and children’s books available in the community centre to borrow on trust.

A council spokeswoman said: “We are delighted to be working with the Hoole Community Trust to continue to provide library provision in the Hoole area.

“We have recently extended the opening hours of the neighbouring libraries of Chester, Upton and Great Boughton and further additional opening times will come into operation at Great Boughton.”

The council’s Strategic Area Asset Management Plan Chester Area 2010-11 shows consideration was being given to the relocation of services from Hoole Road, including Hoole library, ‘to enable the premises to be disposed of’ as long ago as October 2010.

 

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