I have posted many times before about the determination of Aintree Village Parish Council to save its community library from closure. So determined are they that around £20,000 has been pledged, per year, by the Parish Council to support the new volunteer led venture.
But things look like they may be stalling with Sefton Borough Council potentially getting cold feet? The sticking point looks likely to be the one-off investment in the property by Sefton to bring it up to a reasonable standard of maintenance before the hand over is agreed.
I am informed that the Borough has been and maybe still is seeking some form of binding/legal agreement with the Parish Council/volunteer group along the lines that they will guarantee the funding and running of the library under its new guise for 25 years. Personally I think that is unreasonable and in bad faith.
The Borough will still own the building and the site it sits on even if the new venture fails (which we all clearly hope it will not) at a future date so where’s the risk? The site is quite large so realising its value should not be an issue if the worst happens.
And what of the Parish Charter with Sefton Council and its 10 Parishes which says how they will try to work together etc.? It seems that going forward as a partnership based on mutual trust and what is best for the Aintree Village community is not the highest of Sefton’s priorities, more that it is looking suspiciously upon a Parish Council and volunteers who have frankly embarrassed it by their determination to try to save their library.
I hope this saga has a good outcome but time is ticking with the Borough wanting to close the Library in December. They just need to trust the Parish Council and volunteers to try to make the venture work and encourage them in the process rather than being grumpy and difficult.
And this is what a Labour-run Borough Council does. How very sad. I do hope that the Labour great and good don’t stand outside the Library for a photo opportunity, if they finally decided to let it live, claiming they saved it! You know the cheeky beggars would.