Sheffield library plan deadline extended

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Community groups hoping to take over the running of Sheffield libraries have been given extra time to submit their final business plans.

The deadline for plans to be submitted, after the council controversially relinquished control of 15 facilities, was originally today.
But groups are now able to put their proposals forward until July 7.

Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for communities, said there was some ‘flexibility’ in the timescale.

“The extended deadline will give library groups a little more time to bring together all they have learned about running a volunteer-led service”, he added.

The council said that it expected a business plan would be submitted for ‘every library vulnerable to closure’.

Bob Mynors, of the Stannington and District Library Group, said their plan should still go in today.

He added: “There is a bit of tweaking but we are just about ready to go.

“You wouldn’t believe the amount of work that has gone into it.”

Chris Reece, of the Walkley Community Library Futures Group, said the situation had been ‘rushed’ but their business plan would be in by July 7. Nine library groups are working closely together, he added.

Community groups will start to take over the running of libraries in a transitional period, during which volunteers will receive training, until September.