Rally at West Heath, Sat 9th April 11.00-12.30

The next stop in our campaign to support Birmingham’s community libraries is a rally at West Heath. As we pointed out last week​, all of these libraries  are under threat in the current review of local services by Birmingham City Council, which is seeking to make substantial cuts to all of its budgets.

​The fact that a number of planned closures were withdrawn in 2014-15 after local petitioning does not mean that all of these services are safe, merely that Birmingham City Council is taking a very long time to come to decisions on their future.

​Our Saturday sessions include leafleting to raise public awareness and a reading of relevant extracts from The Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964. This is the legislation which imposes a duty on local authorities to provide adequate and accessible library services.

​ The session at West Heath ​will also be a protest rally.

​The library closed in March 2014 due to the “unsafe” nature of the building. In May 2014, following big rally outside the library and a subsequent demonstration around West Heath a promise was given to build a new library on the site of the old one (Cllr O’Reilly – Labour). It was announced at the Northfield Ward Committee in late 2014 (Cllr Brew – Conservative) that the new library would be re-built and open for business around October 2015.

West Heath

The library was demolished in spring of 2015. There was then a long period of silence, until recently, when Birmingham City Council Cabinet initiated a consultatio​n (closes on 30 April) on what emerged as its preferred choice, namely not to build a new library at West Heath but to relocate the library service in part of Oddingley Hall, which is in Kings Norton. A sorry saga.

​The rally will be held at ​the site of the now demolished West Heath Library, The Fordrough, West Heath, Birmingham B31 3L​X. ​It is opposite Tesco Express​, a short walk from Northfield station. Bus routes are 19 (nearest), 27, 45, 47,49​.

Do come. If you would be interested in helping at a similar session at your local library, please let us know.

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