Birmingham City Council have pledged to provide the necessary £30,000 funding to repair the roof of Erdington Library. The Library roof has been in state of disrepair for many years, with numerous holes in the roof allowing in rainwater, damaging books and computer equipment.
Many local residents had expressed concern after the money earmarked to repair the roof was withdrawn by the City Council in December. However, the Council have now given assurances that the Library roof will be fixed, and every effort will be made to ensure such work is carried out with minimal disruption to users of the Library.
Cllr Jayne Francis, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture said:
“Following strong representations from Jack Dromey MP, the Friends of Erdington Library and the Erdington Labour Party, with petitions signed by 5000 people, we want to reassure the people of Erdington that their library is not at risk. Birmingham City Council remains absolutely committed to library services in Erdington and plans are now being drawn up to carry out repairs to the roof.
“We fully understand the importance of Erdington Library to the community and every effort will be made to ensure that at least part of the library remains open throughout the work.
“In the longer term, we are exploring funding opportunities to help cover the cost of further, less urgent, repairs and work so that Erdington Library continues to be an important and well-used community asset.”
Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington said:
“Today’s welcome announcement by the Council will provide great comfort to the many constituents who contacted me expressing their concern regarding the vital repair work required to Erdington Library and doubts about the Library’s future.
“Erdington Library is a fine Grade 2 listed building – a Carnegie Library from 1907. It is a unique part of Erdington’s history and it deserves to be maintained properly with its facilities open to the community.
“I am grateful to the City Council for now providing the necessary funding for repair works to begin. However, the fact is such a situation would never have arisen had the Council not had to deal with over 40% cuts to its funding by central government.
“Many libraries across the country have either shut down or reduced their services due to funding cuts. In the lead up to March’s Budget, I will now ask the Chancellor to provide local authorities with the funding necessary to keep such vital community resources open to the public.”