Council urged to back Walkley Library community plan

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Campaigners have urged council chiefs to chose the community to run Walkley library – and not a firm.

The group hoping to take over the library is still waiting for a decision on whether its business plan – or one from The Forum group of pubs and restaurants – will be accepted by Sheffield Council, which is due to make a decision soon.

Library users – who back plans for the library to be run by the community group – handed a letter to Walkley councillor Ben Curran urging the council to choose the community plan.

They were at the library to thank staff for their excellent service and present them with gifts.

Gemma Short, one of the campaigners who lived in Walkley, said: “Personally what I said was that I don’t think a private company that has an interest in making profit can cater for an area with such a diverse community.

“I am worried that the library will be sidelined in order to have a kitchen and a toilet and bar.”

Library staff were said to be ‘touched’ with their gifts, which included Walkley mugs and a book of photographs from the Walkley area.

Messages from the community filled a card, which had been left in the Beeches of Walkley butchers for customers to write in.

The Star understands a decision on the future of Walkley library was expected last Thursday but was delayed again.

Last month the council confirmed that most business plans for libraries had been approved.

Burngreave campaigners have also been given more time to work on their plan.

Chris Reece, chairman of the Walkley Community Libraries Future Group which created the business plan, said: “We are grateful for the support but as far as we are concerned we are just having to follow the proper procedures and wait for a decision, we are not in a position to send letters.”

Nobody from The Forum was available to comment.