Pic supplied by Cllr Robert Alden (Erdington Ward, Conservative)
(Ed’s Note: This column was written to be published in the Erdington Local newspaper – out from 5 June)
Recently Birmingham City Council tried to convert Erdington Library into a Youth Centre. Cllr Gareth Moore and I jumped into action to fight to save Erdington Library – a campaign that was thankfully successful. This is how the campaign unfolded.
On 28 April, a Friday, Birmingham City Council announced they had submitted two planning applications to turn Erdington Library into a Youth Centre and extend the building.
Understandably residents contacted us, furious with the Council for attempting to close down our much loved and well used Library. On Saturday 29 April the library had over 250 visitors by lunchtime, proving how popular the service is.
By 1 May we had launched a petition demanding the Labour Administration at the Council scrap their plans to close Erdington Library.
On 2 May I met with the Chief Executive of the City Council to raise residents’ concerns and demand Erdington Library is saved.
On 4 May I met with the Cabinet Member and Head of Service for Libraries to discuss the situation. This was a constructive discussion and that afternoon I emailed the Youth Services department and Library Services demanding the planning applications were withdrawn and a meeting set up to discuss how to protect Erdington Library and the service going forward.
Following our interventions, the Council withdrew the planning applications and have placed any changes on hold. In the coming weeks we will be meeting the services and pushing to protect and improve Erdington Library for years to come.
For more from Cllr Robert Alden and Cllr Gareth Moore visit www.facebook.com/ErdingtonNews