Albrighton Parish Council set to aid library and pool

A parish council has agreed to support a village library and swimming pool hit by a series of spending cuts to ensure they stay open.

Albrighton Parish Council set to aid library and pool

The Albrighton venues have seen funding from Shropshire Council plummet in recent years and both could be run as community organisations in the future.

Albrighton Parish Council has agreed in principle to move into the library and help run it, as well as offering financial support for the pool. Shropshire Council voted to save £1.1 million from the authority's £2.9 million libraries budget during a meeting on Wednesday in Shirehall.

Twelve of the county's smaller libraries, including Albrighton, will be offered to community councils, social enterprises or community groups.

Parish councillor Peter Woodman said: "It's good to report the parish council had unanimous support for trying to ensure the library stays open.

"More importantly the council, in principle, would like to move into the library and take over control of running the building and its other aspects, such as the IT area, while looking at what other activities could be brought in.

"The council will not manage it in too much detail because the current staff is capable of doing that.

"The process is also very complicated and the first steps has been to appoint a working group to work with Shropshire Council to work out all the details and arrangements.

"The most complicated situation is working out ownership and a lease of the current building."

Mr Woodman said the parish council was confident of getting some financial support from central government to make some changes to the layout of the library. He said some necessary changes included moving the children's section to the back of the library with parish council offices at the front.

Albrighton's heated outdoor pool, based at Albrighton Primary School, in Newhouse Lane, opens during the summer season.

Mr Woodman said the parish council was also unanimous in its support of the swimming pool, which could include establishing further funding.

"There was clearly a strong feeling behind saving the pool and keeping it open," he said.

"Various possibilities will be discussed such as looking at getting grants, which Shropshire Council seems quite confident can also be found. There is already a committee in place and because it sits in school grounds, the school is involved as well."

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