£209,000 fund secures future of Sheffield's volunteer-run libraries for another year

Sheffield's vital volunteer-run libraries have been handed a lifeline as the council rush through a vote to secure their funding. This decision comes after months of uncertainty and delay on the part of the Labour-led council.

By Sheffield Liberal Democrats, Jul 11, 2022 1:07

Bookshelf in a bookshop.

Sheffield City Council has finally voted to approve funding for volunteer-run libraries in the city. This decision comes after months of uncertainty and delay on the part of the Labour-led council.

Sheffield's volunteer-run libraries were plunged into uncertainty last October when a vote to secure their future finance was delayed by the Labour-led council.

With fears that the libraries could have gone under, the future of these vital community hubs has now been secured for another year after the vote was rushed through the Town Hall.

The Lib Dems are pleased the funding has been secured for another year but are angry that the libraries and their volunteers had to go through such uncertainty.

The new Lib Dem Chair of the Communities, Parks and Leisure Policy Committee, Councillor Richard Williams, said, “When volunteers are involved the Council needs to work hard to get things in place as soon as possible and give these Libraries the security they need going forward.

"The £209,000 fund for the eleven volunteer-run libraries over the next year will enable them to continue their recovery from Covid-19 and re-establish their longer-term viability.”

Sheffield’s volunteer-run libraries were established in 2014 to keep as many libraries open as possible after the Labour-run Council at the time cut funding the city’s professionally staffed-libraries. This would have meant that libraries would have been shut if it weren’t for the support of communities across Sheffield.

Councillor Williams added; “These libraries are a great part of our communities in Sheffield and it’s crucial that the Council does everything it can to keep them going.

This funding for the next year is a good start but we need to go further to keep the libraries thriving and their buildings in working order.”

“The libraries, like us all, are being affected by rises in the costs of heating and electricity, we must keep supporting them through this. We also need to encourage more volunteers to come forwards to help out at the local Libraries so they can be kept open.”

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