Wyre Forest authors fear for library's archive

Kidderminster Shuttle: ‘Valuable’ facility: Archive users, from left, Melvyn Thompson, Don Gilbert, Nigel Knowles, Betty Park and Nigel Gilbert. Picture: MIRIAM BALFRY. 011309M. ‘Valuable’ facility: Archive users, from left, Melvyn Thompson, Don Gilbert, Nigel Knowles, Betty Park and Nigel Gilbert. Picture: MIRIAM BALFRY. 011309M.

A GROUP of 30 Wyre Forest authors and researchers have teamed up to sign a letter outlining concerns about the future of Kidderminster Library’s “invaluable” archive collection.

Worcestershire County Council announced a review of the material will begin this month as part of controversial plans to relocate the building’s top-floor gallery to the first floor where the collections are housed.

But this has sparked fears that much of Kidderminster’s past could remain “undiscovered” and in an open letter to the county council, users say they are worried that more than a century’s worth of work could be “thrown away”.

A council spokesman said the review – which could see material moved to the Hive at Worcester – would be based on demand data and members of Wyre Forest’s history community would be consulted, although the letter says that has not yet happened.

“The expectation is that all Wyre Forest-related material, including the photographic collection, will be retained in [Kidderminster] library,” added the spokesman.

Kidderminster author Nigel Gilbert, who has had six books published, said: “There is a real threat to the material and a lot of people are worried.

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“The collection has been built up since the 19th century and we want to make people aware of its value.

“A lot of books have been written about Kidderminster in recent years as a result of people using the material.”

The archive contains a number of books, photographs and microfilm, which include back copies of The Shuttle and microfilmreading machines.

“If the collection goes to The Hive we will vote with our feet,” added Mr Gilbert.

“A lot of work will just not get done and a lot of things will remain undiscovered.”

He added: “If anything, more space is required. Those of us who use it regularly know it has been run down for a long time – the space is very small and it’s getting noisier and noisier.”

The proposals are part of the libraries and learning service’s requirements to save £1.8 million from its budget over three years.

READ A COPY OF THE LETTER HERE

Comments (27)

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6:56pm Fri 4 Jan 13

jon cooper says...

What with 201 library closures occuring across the UK in 2012, it appears that 2013 will be another grim year for the survival of our library services that cater for a great many people.

In Wyre Forest, ALL of our libraries are coming under scrutiny for cuts, and it's not beyond the realms of reality that closures may occur if all doesn't go well. I for one believe the survival of our libraries is paramount; and this latest revelation of the possibility of the excellent archive area in Kiddermister Library being moved to 'The Hive' in Worcester i personally find an extreme worry, and totally unnecessary for the vast amount of Wyre Forest residents who actually use this facility.

WCC have already targeted Kidderminster Library for cuts. The much reported 'Gallery' issue has been a very unfortunate affair for a varied amount of reasons; and although i deplore 'cuts' in any shape or form, i totally understand WCC's stance on the gallery decision as it has been proven with hard concrete facts that the gallery - as a musical venue - is not the venue that was perceived in early part of the campaign to save the gallery, and leave it in its current location. It is clear 'The Gallery', (as a musical venue), is in fact a dormant facility that has only attracted musical recitals on no more than four occasions in the last 12 months !

The archive/reference section in Kidderminster Library is a totally different affair, and its survival is of the most utmost importance for the whole of the district as it houses historic archives for Kidderminster, Stourport, Bewdley and their surrounding parishes, and is used by a great many of local residents. As Kidderminster Library itself has a much less uncertain future compared to the library situation in Bewdley and Stourport, then it must surely be essential to retain the reference section within Kidderminster for the sakes of us all !
What with 201 library closures occuring across the UK in 2012, it appears that 2013 will be another grim year for the survival of our library services that cater for a great many people. In Wyre Forest, ALL of our libraries are coming under scrutiny for cuts, and it's not beyond the realms of reality that closures may occur if all doesn't go well. I for one believe the survival of our libraries is paramount; and this latest revelation of the possibility of the excellent archive area in Kiddermister Library being moved to 'The Hive' in Worcester i personally find an extreme worry, and totally unnecessary for the vast amount of Wyre Forest residents who actually use this facility. WCC have already targeted Kidderminster Library for cuts. The much reported 'Gallery' issue has been a very unfortunate affair for a varied amount of reasons; and although i deplore 'cuts' in any shape or form, i totally understand WCC's stance on the gallery decision as it has been proven with hard concrete facts that the gallery - as a musical venue - is not the venue that was perceived in early part of the campaign to save the gallery, and leave it in its current location. It is clear 'The Gallery', (as a musical venue), is in fact a dormant facility that has only attracted musical recitals on no more than four occasions in the last 12 months ! The archive/reference section in Kidderminster Library is a totally different affair, and its survival is of the most utmost importance for the whole of the district as it houses historic archives for Kidderminster, Stourport, Bewdley and their surrounding parishes, and is used by a great many of local residents. As Kidderminster Library itself has a much less uncertain future compared to the library situation in Bewdley and Stourport, then it must surely be essential to retain the reference section within Kidderminster for the sakes of us all ! jon cooper
  • Score: 0

7:44pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Stephen Brown says...

The Gallery and the archives are not separate issues, they are interwoven, and always have been. The plan to move the archives has been clear in the county council's thinking from day one.

Let's not forget, this is ALL about putting social services staff on the top floor of the Library to save social services money and use the space for a purpose it was NEVER intended or designed for and that has wider rammifications including for the acrhives and records. Any benefit to the library in terms of income is a by-product which is being used to justify it. And frankly, the porkys being told by the council in this matter as they attempt to hoodwink people, are staggering, and will be their undoing in my view.

The council has systematically been letting the archives and equipment fall into disrepair and chaos in anticipation of everything moving to the Hive - with all the shiny brand new equipment housed there. No sign of ANY cuts there and all being done at OUR expense in Wyre Forest. How many more times does this need to be said? It's all part of the same plan to kick Wyre Forest in the teeth as they see us up here as a soft touch aided and abetted by their willing servant councillors from Wyre Forest. Why is a question I would ask?

No case has been 'proven' or is 'clear' in relation to what the Gallery is in regard to its performance space. To suggest so misunderstands or misrepresents what is going on here. The Gallery is a holistic space and to separate out bits of it misses the point entirely. It was conceived as a whole and should remain as a whole. For those peddling the 'separation' theory or any other similar line is merely a convenient flag on which to hang an argument in order to justify its demise.

As a 'relative' newcomer to the area, albeit less so now as time moves on, the issue of the gallery, and my learning about Kidderminster's past as this issue has unfolded, its buildings and the destruction of its heritage has saddened me deeply in equal measure that it has lifted my spirits - especially seeing the passion of people willing to stand up and be counted and hearing of past battles too.

The loss of the gallery and its impact on the archives thanks to the council's master plan is another stage of that destruction in my view, and those that perpetrate it should hang their heads in shame. Do they actually know or understand (or care) what they are doing and the consequences of it? I think not at this time. In years to come, those responsible will live to regret their actions, and realise their mistake. Unfortunately, that will be too late, so it's best to do everything to stop them now.

The Gallery, the archives, and their importance, is about the cultural integrity to the WHOLE of Wyre Forest. This is about more than just Kidderminster Library and the cuts. That is why artists, poets, historians, authors, and performers, communities and people from the whole of Wyre Forest (and further afield) are up in arms about this. And that should tell the county council and anyone in favour of this seeming convenient (and 'easy' short term) fix everything they need to know. In that, there is ample warning and strong enough message for the wreckers of culture to STOP and think again.
The Gallery and the archives are not separate issues, they are interwoven, and always have been. The plan to move the archives has been clear in the county council's thinking from day one. Let's not forget, this is ALL about putting social services staff on the top floor of the Library to save social services money and use the space for a purpose it was NEVER intended or designed for and that has wider rammifications including for the acrhives and records. Any benefit to the library in terms of income is a by-product which is being used to justify it. And frankly, the porkys being told by the council in this matter as they attempt to hoodwink people, are staggering, and will be their undoing in my view. The council has systematically been letting the archives and equipment fall into disrepair and chaos in anticipation of everything moving to the Hive - with all the shiny brand new equipment housed there. No sign of ANY cuts there and all being done at OUR expense in Wyre Forest. How many more times does this need to be said? It's all part of the same plan to kick Wyre Forest in the teeth as they see us up here as a soft touch aided and abetted by their willing servant councillors from Wyre Forest. Why is a question I would ask? No case has been 'proven' or is 'clear' in relation to what the Gallery is in regard to its performance space. To suggest so misunderstands or misrepresents what is going on here. The Gallery is a holistic space and to separate out bits of it misses the point entirely. It was conceived as a whole and should remain as a whole. For those peddling the 'separation' theory or any other similar line is merely a convenient flag on which to hang an argument in order to justify its demise. As a 'relative' newcomer to the area, albeit less so now as time moves on, the issue of the gallery, and my learning about Kidderminster's past as this issue has unfolded, its buildings and the destruction of its heritage has saddened me deeply in equal measure that it has lifted my spirits - especially seeing the passion of people willing to stand up and be counted and hearing of past battles too. The loss of the gallery and its impact on the archives thanks to the council's master plan is another stage of that destruction in my view, and those that perpetrate it should hang their heads in shame. Do they actually know or understand (or care) what they are doing and the consequences of it? I think not at this time. In years to come, those responsible will live to regret their actions, and realise their mistake. Unfortunately, that will be too late, so it's best to do everything to stop them now. The Gallery, the archives, and their importance, is about the cultural integrity to the WHOLE of Wyre Forest. This is about more than just Kidderminster Library and the cuts. That is why artists, poets, historians, authors, and performers, communities and people from the whole of Wyre Forest (and further afield) are up in arms about this. And that should tell the county council and anyone in favour of this seeming convenient (and 'easy' short term) fix everything they need to know. In that, there is ample warning and strong enough message for the wreckers of culture to STOP and think again. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

10:41pm Fri 4 Jan 13

John Campion says...

Let's be clear, the local history collection / archive isn't going anywhere.

Nigel's assertions are disingenuous at best, outright scaremongering at worst.

Let's also be clear, no resources or equipment is being diverted to the Hive.

The changes at Kidderminster library including the Gallery help us ensure we can maintain our current sites. Without these changes some communities would loose their library altogether.
Let's be clear, the local history collection / archive isn't going anywhere. Nigel's assertions are disingenuous at best, outright scaremongering at worst. Let's also be clear, no resources or equipment is being diverted to the Hive. The changes at Kidderminster library including the Gallery help us ensure we can maintain our current sites. Without these changes some communities would loose their library altogether. John Campion
  • Score: 0

11:55pm Fri 4 Jan 13

DOEPUBLIC says...

Sadly, the community at present is left at the whim of the latest party line at the cost of long term social impact. A matter only realised by those that need the service for their education and social well being in contrast to those that have the luxury of dropping in at their leisure for their entertainment.
Still awaiting the reality of thinking locally, before restore locally is required.
Sadly, the community at present is left at the whim of the latest party line at the cost of long term social impact. A matter only realised by those that need the service for their education and social well being in contrast to those that have the luxury of dropping in at their leisure for their entertainment. Still awaiting the reality of thinking locally, before restore locally is required. DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 0

9:59am Sat 5 Jan 13

Stephen Brown says...

Then I suggest Mr Campion you are either unfamiliar with what's in your own council reports and what's actually going on at the library, which is unbelievable given the circumstances. Or the word 'disingenuous' and your use of it, which seems to have popular currency among you and your colleagues presently in this issue, is more appropriately reflected back at you.
Then I suggest Mr Campion you are either unfamiliar with what's in your own council reports and what's actually going on at the library, which is unbelievable given the circumstances. Or the word 'disingenuous' and your use of it, which seems to have popular currency among you and your colleagues presently in this issue, is more appropriately reflected back at you. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

11:45am Sat 5 Jan 13

HeatherW says...

Mr Campion, I quote Cllr Fran Oborski:
"I can confirm that, at the Planning site visit; in answer to a direct question I was told that the Carpet trades materials were going/had gone to the Carpet Museum, some Local History stuff would stay, some would go to Hartlebury Castle and some to The Hive."

Now who is being disingenuous?

Heather Wastie
Kidderminster Gallery Friends
Mr Campion, I quote Cllr Fran Oborski: "I can confirm that, at the Planning site visit; in answer to a direct question I was told that the Carpet trades materials were going/had gone to the Carpet Museum, some Local History stuff would stay, some would go to Hartlebury Castle and some to The Hive." Now who is being disingenuous? Heather Wastie Kidderminster Gallery Friends HeatherW
  • Score: 0

4:11pm Sat 5 Jan 13

jon cooper says...

Disingenuous ?
I think this term could be thrown at the folk who have stated from day one that 'The Gallery' is a vital musical venue, when in fact it has recently been discovered that its musical capacity is sparse to say the least !

The county library review has without doubt been treated in a one dimensional affair; as well as the championing of the arts in Wyre Forest ! How many times in the last 12 months have the campaigners for the gallery shown concern for the real point in question; our libraries OR the fate of the reference section in Kidderminster Library ?

How many times since WCC announced that they were seeking to save £1.8million from our libraries have our politicians, (who laughably make out they have the best interests of the WHOLE of the district), shown any concern for the future of Bewdley Library, or the even more precarious situation at Stourport ?

Disingenuous ???? I suggest with respect that some people should look up the meaning of the word !
Disingenuous ? I think this term could be thrown at the folk who have stated from day one that 'The Gallery' is a vital musical venue, when in fact it has recently been discovered that its musical capacity is sparse to say the least ! The county library review has without doubt been treated in a one dimensional affair; as well as the championing of the arts in Wyre Forest ! How many times in the last 12 months have the campaigners for the gallery shown concern for the real point in question; our libraries OR the fate of the reference section in Kidderminster Library ? How many times since WCC announced that they were seeking to save £1.8million from our libraries have our politicians, (who laughably make out they have the best interests of the WHOLE of the district), shown any concern for the future of Bewdley Library, or the even more precarious situation at Stourport ? Disingenuous ???? I suggest with respect that some people should look up the meaning of the word ! jon cooper
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Sat 5 Jan 13

HeatherW says...

I am fully aware of the meaning of the word, Mr Cooper, as it has been used many times recently by Cllrs Hart and Campion. In fact I'm fed up of hearing it.

I assume by 'musical capacity' you mean the number of concerts held in the Library, and audience numbers. It is no great revelation that the Gallery is under-used but there is still a minimum of one well-attended musical performance there per week. Faced with a council which does not promote the Gallery, the Friends put on 3 extra performances last November and attracted respectable audience numbers, given the fact that it takes time for any organisation to build up an audience base.

The Friends are very concerned about the fate of the reference section and have been actively highlighting the issue to its members by email, on Facebook and on Twitter. Nigel Gilbert is an active member of our committee..
I am fully aware of the meaning of the word, Mr Cooper, as it has been used many times recently by Cllrs Hart and Campion. In fact I'm fed up of hearing it. I assume by 'musical capacity' you mean the number of concerts held in the Library, and audience numbers. It is no great revelation that the Gallery is under-used but there is still a minimum of one well-attended musical performance there per week. Faced with a council which does not promote the Gallery, the Friends put on 3 extra performances last November and attracted respectable audience numbers, given the fact that it takes time for any organisation to build up an audience base. The Friends are very concerned about the fate of the reference section and have been actively highlighting the issue to its members by email, on Facebook and on Twitter. Nigel Gilbert is an active member of our committee.. HeatherW
  • Score: 0

10:36pm Sat 5 Jan 13

jon cooper says...

Since the proposals were put forward regarding saving £1.8million from the county library review; nothing has been put into the public domain from the gallery campaign regarding the fate of other libraries in Wyre Forest: And i don't recall many occasions where any other service was considered within Kidderminster Library itself - other than 'The Gallery'. Exactly the same thing can be said about the rather selective championing of the arts in the district -which has proven to be laughable !

The fate of the archive/reference section in Kidderminster Library is clearly of greater importance within the library review when compared to the lowly usage of other facilities at Kidderminster Library. Councillor Campion has now gone on record saying the archives will stay put. I actually hold him to his word, and i for one will start to bleat and bore everyone quite loudly if Councillor Campion does an almighty u-turn and relocate the contents of the archives away from Kidderminster and Wyre Forest itself ;-)
Since the proposals were put forward regarding saving £1.8million from the county library review; nothing has been put into the public domain from the gallery campaign regarding the fate of other libraries in Wyre Forest: And i don't recall many occasions where any other service was considered within Kidderminster Library itself - other than 'The Gallery'. Exactly the same thing can be said about the rather selective championing of the arts in the district -which has proven to be laughable ! The fate of the archive/reference section in Kidderminster Library is clearly of greater importance within the library review when compared to the lowly usage of other facilities at Kidderminster Library. Councillor Campion has now gone on record saying the archives will stay put. I actually hold him to his word, and i for one will start to bleat and bore everyone quite loudly if Councillor Campion does an almighty u-turn and relocate the contents of the archives away from Kidderminster and Wyre Forest itself ;-) jon cooper
  • Score: 0

12:05am Sun 6 Jan 13

John Campion says...

The Library Service and Museum Service in Worcestershire works with wide range of organisations! Including Kidderminster Carpet museum. This is not a whole scale destruction of local history archives. Items and collections are often loaned. We want to see our heritage preserved and accessed by as many people as possible, not just the elite! I'm not sure I can say it clearer than “We are not moving the local history collection out of Kidderminster”.

This is just another issued, whipped up and blown out of proportion by the Friends of the Gallery.

Ms Wastie very clearly highlights why Kidderminster Gallery has to change. The Friends put on a series of “events” in the gallery, and even they couldn’t make it pay, and they refused to pay the going rate to hire the gallery. The Tax payer is hugely subsidising the Gallery in Kidderminster at a time when the County Council has to save £20m a year, year on year.

Howard can blame the Tories all he likes, but it was his newly adopted party that left the national financial mess. To quote the outgoing Labour Chief Sec to the Treasury “There isn’t any money left.” Without changes to Kidderminster Gallery, a community could be deprived of their Library. If, as Howard states, all political parties are against the reprovision of Kidderminster Gallery, why didn’t his Labour Colleagues at County Hall call it in and stop the decision? There is a danger Howards words will be seen as hot air, not backed up with action.

If the Friends of Kidderminster Gallery as so concerned and want to shape the future of the Gallery, why have they refused to meet with me to discuss the options? Why is their facebook page now a closed group? If the Friends Group had spent the last six months positively workings towards how to make the Gallery financially viable rather than name calling and political point scoring, we might not be where we are now.
The Library Service and Museum Service in Worcestershire works with wide range of organisations! Including Kidderminster Carpet museum. This is not a whole scale destruction of local history archives. Items and collections are often loaned. We want to see our heritage preserved and accessed by as many people as possible, not just the elite! I'm not sure I can say it clearer than “We are not moving the local history collection out of Kidderminster”. This is just another issued, whipped up and blown out of proportion by the Friends of the Gallery. Ms Wastie very clearly highlights why Kidderminster Gallery has to change. The Friends put on a series of “events” in the gallery, and even they couldn’t make it pay, and they refused to pay the going rate to hire the gallery. The Tax payer is hugely subsidising the Gallery in Kidderminster at a time when the County Council has to save £20m a year, year on year. Howard can blame the Tories all he likes, but it was his newly adopted party that left the national financial mess. To quote the outgoing Labour Chief Sec to the Treasury “There isn’t any money left.” Without changes to Kidderminster Gallery, a community could be deprived of their Library. If, as Howard states, all political parties are against the reprovision of Kidderminster Gallery, why didn’t his Labour Colleagues at County Hall call it in and stop the decision? There is a danger Howards words will be seen as hot air, not backed up with action. If the Friends of Kidderminster Gallery as so concerned and want to shape the future of the Gallery, why have they refused to meet with me to discuss the options? Why is their facebook page now a closed group? If the Friends Group had spent the last six months positively workings towards how to make the Gallery financially viable rather than name calling and political point scoring, we might not be where we are now. John Campion
  • Score: 0

3:53am Sun 6 Jan 13

Stephen Brown says...

Mr Campion,

Unbelievable......

Blame everyone else for the failings of process and the unacceptable nature of the county council's plan leading to a fracture between community and governance and a breakdown in dialogue.

It's clear you accept no responsibility for where we are at in this issue, at no point has any dialogue been meaningful, and the council has failed in its duty. Now you resort to making asinine comments about the Friends, the events hosted, untruths about costs, and then continue misrepresenting exactly what is happening to the local history archives. Again, go read your own reports and talk to your own staff. Do you actually have any idea what's going on in your own department?

No one is blowing anything out of proportion but you; and I am utterly dismayed at the complete lack of respect you are demonstrating towards the Friends, the community, and signatories to the letter.

Not everything in public services Is about making money, there is a concept about the greater good and benefit to our social well-being. A Concept you seem to be struggling with right now. But then the Tory cuts agenda has always been about the dismantling of public services no matter how much your lot try and sell it as otherwise.

The incoherence of your post tends to suggest your losing it......if you ever had it in the first place - but then justifying decisions to the public is always more difficult than in a cosy 'one party' cabinet room.
Mr Campion, Unbelievable...... Blame everyone else for the failings of process and the unacceptable nature of the county council's plan leading to a fracture between community and governance and a breakdown in dialogue. It's clear you accept no responsibility for where we are at in this issue, at no point has any dialogue been meaningful, and the council has failed in its duty. Now you resort to making asinine comments about the Friends, the events hosted, untruths about costs, and then continue misrepresenting exactly what is happening to the local history archives. Again, go read your own reports and talk to your own staff. Do you actually have any idea what's going on in your own department? No one is blowing anything out of proportion but you; and I am utterly dismayed at the complete lack of respect you are demonstrating towards the Friends, the community, and signatories to the letter. Not everything in public services Is about making money, there is a concept about the greater good and benefit to our social well-being. A Concept you seem to be struggling with right now. But then the Tory cuts agenda has always been about the dismantling of public services no matter how much your lot try and sell it as otherwise. The incoherence of your post tends to suggest your losing it......if you ever had it in the first place - but then justifying decisions to the public is always more difficult than in a cosy 'one party' cabinet room. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

9:58am Sun 6 Jan 13

HeatherW says...

Mr Campion

You trample on the community.

The Friends was set up to work with WCC to promote the Gallery and all you can do is demean our efforts. Our first meeting with you began with Kathy Kirk telling us you had decided to close the Gallery. What was the point of holding the meeting? Our constitution means we have no mandate to meet with you to discuss 'reprovision'.

We did not "refuse" to pay the going rate to hire the Gallery. Had we been asked to pay the hire charge, we would have done so. We asked if this could be waived in light of the fact that we were promoting the facility and this was agreed. We strongly object to your "disingenous" remarks.

The arts disintegrate to ash in your hands.
Mr Campion You trample on the community. The Friends was set up to work with WCC to promote the Gallery and all you can do is demean our efforts. Our first meeting with you began with Kathy Kirk telling us you had decided to close the Gallery. What was the point of holding the meeting? Our constitution means we have no mandate to meet with you to discuss 'reprovision'. We did not "refuse" to pay the going rate to hire the Gallery. Had we been asked to pay the hire charge, we would have done so. We asked if this could be waived in light of the fact that we were promoting the facility and this was agreed. We strongly object to your "disingenous" remarks. The arts disintegrate to ash in your hands. HeatherW
  • Score: 0

10:12am Sun 6 Jan 13

stour67 says...

Still blaming labour when it was the US banking system that caused this mess,and this gov said front line services would not be hit,we now have less police,nurses etc,and no real jobs for people as the so called private sector have not taken up the slack and 20% vat ,when we only had 15% when your lot came in.
Still blaming labour when it was the US banking system that caused this mess,and this gov said front line services would not be hit,we now have less police,nurses etc,and no real jobs for people as the so called private sector have not taken up the slack and 20% vat ,when we only had 15% when your lot came in. stour67
  • Score: 0

12:01pm Sun 6 Jan 13

mrs coops says...

i dont want to say too much regarding the gallery as the important issue and the actual story are about kiddeminster library having the archives/reference section held there and not moved to the hive, but i do want to say that firstly much as i applaud the friends group for trying to save the gallery that maybe as soon as the word cuts was mentioned that they realised compromise was the way to go and not be advised to disregard the initial offer of compromise put forward by WCC and instead chose to be swayed by our local councillors,politica
l spokesmen and wannabe councillors to refuse the offer.If this hadnt happened then the piano would still be being housed there too.The simple facts are that the gallery has been vastly underused over the last 10 years and i dont really think a free coffee morning held there each week with someone playing the piano hardly can be described as a minimum of one well attended musical performance there per week.I also think that the laughable idea of option c that was put forward being to leave the gallery as it was,move all the books from the ground floor to being crammed into the second floor and then having the office space held on the ground floor was a way of showing regard to the library users and historians that use kidderminster library on a daily basis do you??The word selfish springs to mind.No-one wants cuts to be made full stop but the reality is that they are going to be made regardless of what we all want so lets hope that the archives/photo's/ref
erence section etc remain where they belong in kidderminster library and all 3 of our libraries are kept open for the use of the whole of the community.Just remember that the bigger picture of library cuts affects stourport and bewdley too so a little vocal support and the pushy political gain that is being strived for is extended to the other 2 towns as well as kidderminster x
i dont want to say too much regarding the gallery as the important issue and the actual story are about kiddeminster library having the archives/reference section held there and not moved to the hive, but i do want to say that firstly much as i applaud the friends group for trying to save the gallery that maybe as soon as the word cuts was mentioned that they realised compromise was the way to go and not be advised to disregard the initial offer of compromise put forward by WCC and instead chose to be swayed by our local councillors,politica l spokesmen and wannabe councillors to refuse the offer.If this hadnt happened then the piano would still be being housed there too.The simple facts are that the gallery has been vastly underused over the last 10 years and i dont really think a free coffee morning held there each week with someone playing the piano hardly can be described as a minimum of one well attended musical performance there per week.I also think that the laughable idea of option c that was put forward being to leave the gallery as it was,move all the books from the ground floor to being crammed into the second floor and then having the office space held on the ground floor was a way of showing regard to the library users and historians that use kidderminster library on a daily basis do you??The word selfish springs to mind.No-one wants cuts to be made full stop but the reality is that they are going to be made regardless of what we all want so lets hope that the archives/photo's/ref erence section etc remain where they belong in kidderminster library and all 3 of our libraries are kept open for the use of the whole of the community.Just remember that the bigger picture of library cuts affects stourport and bewdley too so a little vocal support and the pushy political gain that is being strived for is extended to the other 2 towns as well as kidderminster x mrs coops
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Sun 6 Jan 13

HeatherW says...

Mrs Coops, the council's original compromise was to put the art on the foyer walls and the piano on the ground floor rendering the piano next to useless and an art gallery non-existent. The coffee mornings you mention are held weekly, they are quality musical performances, and they raise thousands of pounds for Kemp Hospice who will lose this income, but you clearly don’t care about that.

Your facts about our compromise Option C are incorrect. This option would have saved the necessary money, housed the reference section in the currently unused area on the top floor, a quiet space adjacent to the Gallery, and put social services offices on the first floor which could then be closed off. We don’t feel a library is the place for social services, but offered a compromise solution which we were denied the opportunity to discuss.

I can assure you that the Friends group includes a wide circle of people; we have a document containing statements of opposition from Kidderminster Art Society, the Classical Music Society, Kidderminster Camera Club, KAF Creatives and Kidderminster Choral Society amongst many many other library users. This was the aim of the Friends, to be able to speak on behalf of individuals and groups. The committee is grateful for insights from members involved in politics, but those people quoted in the document are expressing their own feelings regardless of politics and the Friends group is open to anyone.

If the council had promoted the Gallery, they could be generating a healthy income by now instead of squandering Arts Council funding. The Gallery should be celebrated as an attraction to the town and the county. Cllr Campion has stated in reference to the town plan, “We hope to rebuild the quality status of the town.” The one quality arts venue Kidderminster has is about to be destroyed when social services offices could be accommodated elsewhere. Do you really think the Library is a place for social services? If you care about libraries, as we do, then why not ask this question of the council?
Mrs Coops, the council's original compromise was to put the art on the foyer walls and the piano on the ground floor rendering the piano next to useless and an art gallery non-existent. The coffee mornings you mention are held weekly, they are quality musical performances, and they raise thousands of pounds for Kemp Hospice who will lose this income, but you clearly don’t care about that. Your facts about our compromise Option C are incorrect. This option would have saved the necessary money, housed the reference section in the currently unused area on the top floor, a quiet space adjacent to the Gallery, and put social services offices on the first floor which could then be closed off. We don’t feel a library is the place for social services, but offered a compromise solution which we were denied the opportunity to discuss. I can assure you that the Friends group includes a wide circle of people; we have a document containing statements of opposition from Kidderminster Art Society, the Classical Music Society, Kidderminster Camera Club, KAF Creatives and Kidderminster Choral Society amongst many many other library users. This was the aim of the Friends, to be able to speak on behalf of individuals and groups. The committee is grateful for insights from members involved in politics, but those people quoted in the document are expressing their own feelings regardless of politics and the Friends group is open to anyone. If the council had promoted the Gallery, they could be generating a healthy income by now instead of squandering Arts Council funding. The Gallery should be celebrated as an attraction to the town and the county. Cllr Campion has stated in reference to the town plan, “We hope to rebuild the quality status of the town.” The one quality arts venue Kidderminster has is about to be destroyed when social services offices could be accommodated elsewhere. Do you really think the Library is a place for social services? If you care about libraries, as we do, then why not ask this question of the council? HeatherW
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Sun 6 Jan 13

HowardM says...

@John Campion "Howard can blame the Tories all he likes, but it was his newly adopted party that left the national financial mess. To quote the outgoing Labour Chief Sec to the Treasury “There isn’t any money left.” Without changes to Kidderminster Gallery, a community could be deprived of their Library. If, as Howard states, all political parties are against the reprovision of Kidderminster Gallery, why didn’t his Labour Colleagues at County Hall call it in and stop the decision? There is a danger Howards words will be seen as hot air, not backed up with action."
I'm not sure how I came to be mentioned above since I hadnt commented on this thread, however since John "named" me..............!
Since there are only 4 Labour Members at County Hall and nearly 10 times as many Tories a "call in" was a pointless and wasted exercise - as John well knows!
The national debt is now over £1tn (trillion) thats £150bn (billion) more than the Tories inherited from Labour! So I dont think the £60k (thousand) savings that WCC admit is the net savings from changes at Kidderminster library will achieve very much in the great, national, overall scheme of things, do you?
The comment "there isnt any money left" was of course, a sarcastic note left on the desk, by his predessor, to greet George Osborne on his first day in Government. Clearly poor old George, and other more local Tories, dont have a sense of humour!
WCC admit they are going to have to make additional savings, year on year, of an extra £20m per year for 4 years (another £80m of Tory inspired cuts - or about 20% of the total CC spend) - that is by direction of Eric Pickles and is an ideological decision which has absolutely nothing to do with the past Labour Government - it is a policy choice designed to cut and ultimetly contract out and privatise local services.
It was the worst exceses of "Capitalisn" as practised by money markets, banks and financial incompetance world wide that promoted the current mess. John can hardly blame Labour for the world recession or the financial chaos in the USA, Greece, Portugal, Spain and other countries. Others countries are coming out of it - however Cameron, Osborne and Tory mismanagement of the economy is taking UK plc onward to a "tripple dip" recession - the only answer to which by the Tories is cut more, cut deeper!
So suggestions that the changes to Kidderminster Library are down to the world economy is the potential cry of a policy decision at County Hall that is so indefensible that in attempting to defend it there is no credibilty left in the arguement.
Seems the only option left is attack everyone and everything in the hope you can deflect the arguement and marginalise it! Some, I think, will not be deflected.
Definition - "Library - a place where books and other relevant reference materials are kept - to be borrowed, read, and used for research, eduction, study and other public use." No mention, it seems, of office space for unrelated activity. A mute point maybe - but surely a fit for purpose, custom built Library should be kept as just that - for the sake of £60,000?
@John Campion "Howard can blame the Tories all he likes, but it was his newly adopted party that left the national financial mess. To quote the outgoing Labour Chief Sec to the Treasury “There isn’t any money left.” Without changes to Kidderminster Gallery, a community could be deprived of their Library. If, as Howard states, all political parties are against the reprovision of Kidderminster Gallery, why didn’t his Labour Colleagues at County Hall call it in and stop the decision? There is a danger Howards words will be seen as hot air, not backed up with action." I'm not sure how I came to be mentioned above since I hadnt commented on this thread, however since John "named" me..............! Since there are only 4 Labour Members at County Hall and nearly 10 times as many Tories a "call in" was a pointless and wasted exercise - as John well knows! The national debt is now over £1tn (trillion) thats £150bn (billion) more than the Tories inherited from Labour! So I dont think the £60k (thousand) savings that WCC admit is the net savings from changes at Kidderminster library will achieve very much in the great, national, overall scheme of things, do you? The comment "there isnt any money left" was of course, a sarcastic note left on the desk, by his predessor, to greet George Osborne on his first day in Government. Clearly poor old George, and other more local Tories, dont have a sense of humour! WCC admit they are going to have to make additional savings, year on year, of an extra £20m per year for 4 years (another £80m of Tory inspired cuts - or about 20% of the total CC spend) - that is by direction of Eric Pickles and is an ideological decision which has absolutely nothing to do with the past Labour Government - it is a policy choice designed to cut and ultimetly contract out and privatise local services. It was the worst exceses of "Capitalisn" as practised by money markets, banks and financial incompetance world wide that promoted the current mess. John can hardly blame Labour for the world recession or the financial chaos in the USA, Greece, Portugal, Spain and other countries. Others countries are coming out of it - however Cameron, Osborne and Tory mismanagement of the economy is taking UK plc onward to a "tripple dip" recession - the only answer to which by the Tories is cut more, cut deeper! So suggestions that the changes to Kidderminster Library are down to the world economy is the potential cry of a policy decision at County Hall that is so indefensible that in attempting to defend it there is no credibilty left in the arguement. Seems the only option left is attack everyone and everything in the hope you can deflect the arguement and marginalise it! Some, I think, will not be deflected. Definition - "Library - a place where books and other relevant reference materials are kept - to be borrowed, read, and used for research, eduction, study and other public use." No mention, it seems, of office space for unrelated activity. A mute point maybe - but surely a fit for purpose, custom built Library should be kept as just that - for the sake of £60,000? HowardM
  • Score: 0

1:53pm Sun 6 Jan 13

mrs coops says...

@ HEATHERW...."The coffee mornings you mention are held weekly, they are quality musical performances, and they raise thousands of pounds for Kemp Hospice who will lose this income, but you clearly don’t care about that." i'd appreciate it if you didnt make comments that i havent said anthing about,please dont insinuate that i dont care about a loss of income to kemp hospice when i clearly never said any such thing.Kemp hospice is a great local cause that is supported by everybody i was merely pointing out another misleading comment you made insinuating that there were regular musical events held weekly there.
@ HEATHERW...."The coffee mornings you mention are held weekly, they are quality musical performances, and they raise thousands of pounds for Kemp Hospice who will lose this income, but you clearly don’t care about that." i'd appreciate it if you didnt make comments that i havent said anthing about,please dont insinuate that i dont care about a loss of income to kemp hospice when i clearly never said any such thing.Kemp hospice is a great local cause that is supported by everybody i was merely pointing out another misleading comment you made insinuating that there were regular musical events held weekly there. mrs coops
  • Score: 0

2:18pm Sun 6 Jan 13

HeatherW says...

Mrs Coops, I apologise for making a false assumption. But I'm pleased to hear that you are not disputing anything else in my comment to you.
Mrs Coops, I apologise for making a false assumption. But I'm pleased to hear that you are not disputing anything else in my comment to you. HeatherW
  • Score: 0

3:31pm Sun 6 Jan 13

jon cooper says...

HowardM's defination of the meaning of the word library is indeed spot on: Interestingly, 'Dormant Musical Venue' is also missing from the definition of the meaning of 'Library' !

What with the reality that 201 libraries were forced to close their doors forever in the UK during 2012, I find it truly alarming at this very late stage, the political opponents of the controlling Conservatives will still not see the dilemma that is facing all of our libraries. In nearly 12 months, not once have Bewdley, Stourport and even Kidderminster Library itself had any concern thrown at them by the usual suspects. The ill used gallery has took centre stage with its boasts of entertaining 'international artistes'. Again the campaign did not divulge to the public that these occurrences were very rare indeed ! Surely this rarity doesn't justify keeping the gallery in its current form to satisfy a minority ????

For a long time now I have feared the worst in a balanced and fair democratic representation in Wyre Forest. The quite deplorable apathy directed by the politicians who have manipulated this gallery
campaign into a one sided affair is a massive slight on the communities that rely on the real matter in hand - our library service as a whole !
HowardM's defination of the meaning of the word library is indeed spot on: Interestingly, 'Dormant Musical Venue' is also missing from the definition of the meaning of 'Library' ! What with the reality that 201 libraries were forced to close their doors forever in the UK during 2012, I find it truly alarming at this very late stage, the political opponents of the controlling Conservatives will still not see the dilemma that is facing all of our libraries. In nearly 12 months, not once have Bewdley, Stourport and even Kidderminster Library itself had any concern thrown at them by the usual suspects. The ill used gallery has took centre stage with its boasts of entertaining 'international artistes'. Again the campaign did not divulge to the public that these occurrences were very rare indeed ! Surely this rarity doesn't justify keeping the gallery in its current form to satisfy a minority ???? For a long time now I have feared the worst in a balanced and fair democratic representation in Wyre Forest. The quite deplorable apathy directed by the politicians who have manipulated this gallery campaign into a one sided affair is a massive slight on the communities that rely on the real matter in hand - our library service as a whole ! jon cooper
  • Score: 0

6:20pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Jerome K says...

The people supporting the downgrade of The Gallery seem to be agrieved that The Friends aren't supporting Stourport and Bewdley libraries. That's because there are no moves in process to close them whereas The Gallery is in the process of being downgraded. Clearly a red herring.
Besides it's highly unlikely that Bewdley's small library will close as it's a Tory town - votes.
The people supporting the downgrade of The Gallery seem to be agrieved that The Friends aren't supporting Stourport and Bewdley libraries. That's because there are no moves in process to close them whereas The Gallery is in the process of being downgraded. Clearly a red herring. Besides it's highly unlikely that Bewdley's small library will close as it's a Tory town - votes. Jerome K
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Stephen Brown says...

What I find alarming is that in the defence of the wider library service talked about on here, there is hardly a mention of the council's £1million ringfenced Hive budget, thanks to its PFI status, which is actually doing more harm to the wider library service funding than what is going on in Wyre Forest and Kidderminster library in particular for £68k per year.

The council talk of 'expensive' libraries like Kidderminster (cost £177k per year) having to take cuts, but choose not to mention the Hive and its cost, and so succeed in getting some folks to buy into the divide and rule game being played. Where's the fairness and balance in that? Cuts for everyone it seems but not private sector pfi projects negotiated by an incompetent council, so long as other libraries and services, like the gallery and archives, can be sacrificed to pay for it. This for me, along with the shameful excuse for a consultation process in all of this, is the real disgrace.

The Friends campaign is about the gallery, it's not about campaigning for the wider library service in Wyre Forest or elsewhere. It's a specific issue. Indeed there are other groups across the county campaigning for their own libraries. If people feel one such is needed here, go ahead, I am sure it will receive support.

In any case, from what I know of the people in the Friends, they are equally concerned about wider library and indeed other services. So criticism in that context is unfair in my view. It's almost like there's an attempt to pitch one community against another - and that's a counter productive thing.

This is about what's happening in Kidderminster Library.

So, as I have said before, you cannot separate out the gallery and archives issue. BOTH will suffer so that social services can use the space on the top floor. Loss of the CUSTOM built gallery facility AND reference space to physically house archives is a consequence of the council policy, end of. Whatever Mr Campion says about the archives not being broken up, it does not actually survive even the most cursory scrutiny. Anyone choosing to believe him will misplace their trust in my opinion, and moaning about it after the event is too late.

Instead, I note that people, from all walks of life, including local authors and historians as above, as well as yes - artists and politicians- have again found themselves in the firing line for wanting to save the gallery facility. Those in the firing line should be the council officers and politicians who dreamed up this destruction. What's more, had the gallery had appropriate and historical council support, it would remain a 'flagship' facility (council description not mine) that everyone could be proud of. The so called 'Dormant' gallery has a context some may prefer to overlook and use to justify its demise. The fact is, it was a purpose built holistic ARTS facility incorporating art gallery and performance space - and any replacement, even just for art will by design and spend be inferior.

Kidderminster library was purpose built as a library and arts gallery performance space at great expense to the taxpayer. It was NOT built to house social services staff. To now do that only satisfies a short term political cuts agenda. Once this facility is gone its gone. Any council reprovision is merely a sop in a poor attempt to fend off criticism. Losing the archives is part of the same issue therefore.

So, are authors of the letter right to raise it and are their fears justified?Absolutely
!
What I find alarming is that in the defence of the wider library service talked about on here, there is hardly a mention of the council's £1million ringfenced Hive budget, thanks to its PFI status, which is actually doing more harm to the wider library service funding than what is going on in Wyre Forest and Kidderminster library in particular for £68k per year. The council talk of 'expensive' libraries like Kidderminster (cost £177k per year) having to take cuts, but choose not to mention the Hive and its cost, and so succeed in getting some folks to buy into the divide and rule game being played. Where's the fairness and balance in that? Cuts for everyone it seems but not private sector pfi projects negotiated by an incompetent council, so long as other libraries and services, like the gallery and archives, can be sacrificed to pay for it. This for me, along with the shameful excuse for a consultation process in all of this, is the real disgrace. The Friends campaign is about the gallery, it's not about campaigning for the wider library service in Wyre Forest or elsewhere. It's a specific issue. Indeed there are other groups across the county campaigning for their own libraries. If people feel one such is needed here, go ahead, I am sure it will receive support. In any case, from what I know of the people in the Friends, they are equally concerned about wider library and indeed other services. So criticism in that context is unfair in my view. It's almost like there's an attempt to pitch one community against another - and that's a counter productive thing. This is about what's happening in Kidderminster Library. So, as I have said before, you cannot separate out the gallery and archives issue. BOTH will suffer so that social services can use the space on the top floor. Loss of the CUSTOM built gallery facility AND reference space to physically house archives is a consequence of the council policy, end of. Whatever Mr Campion says about the archives not being broken up, it does not actually survive even the most cursory scrutiny. Anyone choosing to believe him will misplace their trust in my opinion, and moaning about it after the event is too late. Instead, I note that people, from all walks of life, including local authors and historians as above, as well as yes - artists and politicians- have again found themselves in the firing line for wanting to save the gallery facility. Those in the firing line should be the council officers and politicians who dreamed up this destruction. What's more, had the gallery had appropriate and historical council support, it would remain a 'flagship' facility (council description not mine) that everyone could be proud of. The so called 'Dormant' gallery has a context some may prefer to overlook and use to justify its demise. The fact is, it was a purpose built holistic ARTS facility incorporating art gallery and performance space - and any replacement, even just for art will by design and spend be inferior. Kidderminster library was purpose built as a library and arts gallery performance space at great expense to the taxpayer. It was NOT built to house social services staff. To now do that only satisfies a short term political cuts agenda. Once this facility is gone its gone. Any council reprovision is merely a sop in a poor attempt to fend off criticism. Losing the archives is part of the same issue therefore. So, are authors of the letter right to raise it and are their fears justified?Absolutely ! Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

7:37pm Sun 6 Jan 13

jon cooper says...

@Jerome K:
As I've campaigned previously on other issues that have evolved in Wyre Forest in recent times, I actually have every sympathy for the regular campaigners, who are without a political agenda; my beef purely lies with the usual local political figures who have clearly in the last 12 months shown bias towards the arts, and to the library situation in Wyre Forest.

The Gallery has quite wrongly been used as the focal point of changes being made throughout our libraries within Wyre Forest. I can assure you that the proposed changes are more widespread, and possibly more far reaching for the majority of library users.

After attending the public consultations regarding Kidderminster and Stourport libraries - which were conducted by non-political figures, without bias - then the true impact of cuts and downgrading proposed in Bewdley and Stourport are alarming to put it mildly ! Yes, libraries as a whole are under scrutiny in Wyre Forest, this isn't propaganda - it's a sad reality !

Not once during the time of this gallery campaign have our usual political campaigners highlighted the true extent of library cuts in our district, which I for one find appalling. And I certainly won't let go of the fact !

On top of this is the sickening political championing of the arts in the district: It's a myth, and clearly selective, as what's been proved with the theatrical situation at Stourport Civic Hall !

These are the hard facts of the library and the arts situation in Wyre Forest, and it has been this way for some time.

I don't believe in 'red herrings' 'Jerome K', I leave that little game to the professionals !
@Jerome K: As I've campaigned previously on other issues that have evolved in Wyre Forest in recent times, I actually have every sympathy for the regular campaigners, who are without a political agenda; my beef purely lies with the usual local political figures who have clearly in the last 12 months shown bias towards the arts, and to the library situation in Wyre Forest. The Gallery has quite wrongly been used as the focal point of changes being made throughout our libraries within Wyre Forest. I can assure you that the proposed changes are more widespread, and possibly more far reaching for the majority of library users. After attending the public consultations regarding Kidderminster and Stourport libraries - which were conducted by non-political figures, without bias - then the true impact of cuts and downgrading proposed in Bewdley and Stourport are alarming to put it mildly ! Yes, libraries as a whole are under scrutiny in Wyre Forest, this isn't propaganda - it's a sad reality ! Not once during the time of this gallery campaign have our usual political campaigners highlighted the true extent of library cuts in our district, which I for one find appalling. And I certainly won't let go of the fact ! On top of this is the sickening political championing of the arts in the district: It's a myth, and clearly selective, as what's been proved with the theatrical situation at Stourport Civic Hall ! These are the hard facts of the library and the arts situation in Wyre Forest, and it has been this way for some time. I don't believe in 'red herrings' 'Jerome K', I leave that little game to the professionals ! jon cooper
  • Score: 0

9:13pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Jerome K says...

Ah I see, it's the opposition politicians fault not the Council. It's a point of view I suppose.
Libraries as a whole are under scrutiny through the whole country. To my knowledge there have been no library closures in Wyre Forest or Worcs except for the proposed downgrading of The Gallery. I fail to see how blaming campaigners/politici
ans for The Gallery for not speaking up for libraries is anything other than playing the Council's game of divide and rule.
Ah I see, it's the opposition politicians fault not the Council. It's a point of view I suppose. Libraries as a whole are under scrutiny through the whole country. To my knowledge there have been no library closures in Wyre Forest or Worcs except for the proposed downgrading of The Gallery. I fail to see how blaming campaigners/politici ans for The Gallery for not speaking up for libraries is anything other than playing the Council's game of divide and rule. Jerome K
  • Score: 0

11:07pm Sun 6 Jan 13

jon cooper says...

@Jerome K:
No, of course you can't point the finger of blame towards the opposition to the Conservatives regarding the content of the county library review. But i am strongly critical of these people who have made the library issue a one dimensional affair in Wyre Forest. WCC will see their way clear to bridge their deplorable deficit, and the libraries in Wyre Forest - ALL OF THEM - will be hit !

Whether anyone likes the blunt truth or not, The Gallery at Kidderminster Library is the one facility in the building that is NOT used in the capacity that was originally described. Far from attracting 'International Artistes' of musical repute, as boasted about in the early stages of this campaign; it by and large remains a redundant room in musical terms ! I'm sorry, but whether it's WCC's fault or 'The Friend's' problem - these are hard facts. And as frustrating for some as it might be, The Gallery is situated within Kidderminster Library, and thus comes under its jurisdiction !

The opposing politicians in question should know the full extent and repercussions on our local libraries that will be hit to save money. Instead of addressing the proposals laid out quite clearly by WCC, they have for nigh on 12 months kept plugging away on the gallery issue rather than looking at the obvious wider issues that will affect the majority. If The Gallery stays, WCC will no doubt hit other library services at Kidderminster, or perhaps hurt other local libraries even more to reap in the suggested savings. Is this really fair and responsible justification to spare a dormant musical venue at the expense of the the wider use of our libraries ?

Do you honestly think that at some stage in the future libraries in the district will not be downgraded, downsized and relocated ? If you believe this to be a myth or "propaganda" then i strongly urge you to view for yourself the plans for Stourport and Bewdley libraries; And AGAIN, in particular, the Stourport situation ! Has anyone ever wondered what will become of Stourport Library when the 'County Buildings' fall ... Obviously not !

Finally, (Thank God), it is highly correct to highlight that only last year 201 libraries closed their doors forever in the UK due to cuts. This of course creates a domino effect on possible job losses. We are in terrible hard times where there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, and i personally feel things will unfortunately get worse before they get better. Regarding our libraries, each one in Wyre Forest i believe should shoulder the burden of cuts in a fair fashion. As the gallery at Kidderminster in a musical sense is not the venue that we originally believed it to be, then in my opinion it really is wasted space that should be used to save money; no matter what guise it should take.
@Jerome K: No, of course you can't point the finger of blame towards the opposition to the Conservatives regarding the content of the county library review. But i am strongly critical of these people who have made the library issue a one dimensional affair in Wyre Forest. WCC will see their way clear to bridge their deplorable deficit, and the libraries in Wyre Forest - ALL OF THEM - will be hit ! Whether anyone likes the blunt truth or not, The Gallery at Kidderminster Library is the one facility in the building that is NOT used in the capacity that was originally described. Far from attracting 'International Artistes' of musical repute, as boasted about in the early stages of this campaign; it by and large remains a redundant room in musical terms ! I'm sorry, but whether it's WCC's fault or 'The Friend's' problem - these are hard facts. And as frustrating for some as it might be, The Gallery is situated within Kidderminster Library, and thus comes under its jurisdiction ! The opposing politicians in question should know the full extent and repercussions on our local libraries that will be hit to save money. Instead of addressing the proposals laid out quite clearly by WCC, they have for nigh on 12 months kept plugging away on the gallery issue rather than looking at the obvious wider issues that will affect the majority. If The Gallery stays, WCC will no doubt hit other library services at Kidderminster, or perhaps hurt other local libraries even more to reap in the suggested savings. Is this really fair and responsible justification to spare a dormant musical venue at the expense of the the wider use of our libraries ? Do you honestly think that at some stage in the future libraries in the district will not be downgraded, downsized and relocated ? If you believe this to be a myth or "propaganda" then i strongly urge you to view for yourself the plans for Stourport and Bewdley libraries; And AGAIN, in particular, the Stourport situation ! Has anyone ever wondered what will become of Stourport Library when the 'County Buildings' fall ... Obviously not ! Finally, (Thank God), it is highly correct to highlight that only last year 201 libraries closed their doors forever in the UK due to cuts. This of course creates a domino effect on possible job losses. We are in terrible hard times where there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, and i personally feel things will unfortunately get worse before they get better. Regarding our libraries, each one in Wyre Forest i believe should shoulder the burden of cuts in a fair fashion. As the gallery at Kidderminster in a musical sense is not the venue that we originally believed it to be, then in my opinion it really is wasted space that should be used to save money; no matter what guise it should take. jon cooper
  • Score: 0

11:53pm Mon 7 Jan 13

DOEPUBLIC says...

As this debate clearly shows, vested interests have used public assets as their battleground to voice well rehearsed rhetoric, resulting in those that truly value the services being robbed of basic levels of engagement and community. The simple story is the capable have shown a clear incapacity to listen to those who have become voiceless. A disconnect that only benefits myopic communities.
As this debate clearly shows, vested interests have used public assets as their battleground to voice well rehearsed rhetoric, resulting in those that truly value the services being robbed of basic levels of engagement and community. The simple story is the capable have shown a clear incapacity to listen to those who have become voiceless. A disconnect that only benefits myopic communities. DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 0

8:03am Tue 8 Jan 13

HeatherW says...

Well said, DOEPUBLIC.
Well said, DOEPUBLIC. HeatherW
  • Score: 0

10:28pm Tue 8 Jan 13

khfc says...

I agree with DOE!
I agree with DOE! khfc
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

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