Extra ‘transition period’ for Sheffield libraries

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Sheffield Council is to continue to pay rent and utility bills on behalf of the city’s libraries which have been taken over by the community for another month.

The extra transition period has come about as some groups taking over the running of their library were not able to get their charitable status in place in time.

A council spokesman said: “At the request of the library groups a transitional support period was agreed until Friday, October 31.

“This will give more time to agree terms on the leases and complete outstanding actions such as registering as charities.”

The council said the money used to pay the bills would come from the £262,000 set aside from public health funds so voluntary groups could bid for cash – as agreed by cabinet chiefs.

Jenny van Tinteren, of the Stannington library group, said: “The council is going to carry on paying the rent and utilities for a month, so we can sort a few things out. People did not get charity registrations through in time.”

Libraries across Sheffield are today entering their second week of being run by community groups after the council controversially relinquished control of them earlier in the year to save money and meet budget cuts.

Plans have still not been agreed for the facility at Burngreave and further work continues with the community group involved.

A joint plan to take over Walkley is still being prepared by the community and the Forum Café group of bars.