Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson met with the Aintree Library Action Group to hear about their plan to run a Community Library in the wake of the council being forced to stop running the library following government cuts
Bill met with group chairwoman Gwen Bleasdale and other members of the group and heard that the group was committed to finding a way of keeping a library open learning from the success of Alt Valley Community Trust who have successfully run a library as part of its Communiversity project in Croxteth.
The group is keen to present a plan to Sefton Council and that plan is set to include how the library might be run, what other services might be available such as computers and what other groups would be committed to using the building to make sure it is viable.
Speaking after the meeting, Bill said: “I was very encouraged by the work that the Aintree Library Action Group has done in finding out how to run a community library and I would like to congratulate them on making such rapid progress.
"People in Aintree were very worried at the prospect that the library might close as it is such a key part of the community in Aintree and Melling. Many elderly people rely on the library as do children and families and it is fantastic news that Gwen Bleasdale has stepped forward to organise a group committed to replacing the existing facility with a community run library.
"We all hope that the library continues to be at the heart of the Village of Aintree and is well used as a library but more than that, I hope that many people use the building for other activities as well so that the library can be viable for the long-term.
"There are repairs and renovations which will have to be carried out and I hope that Sefton Council will use some of the funds put aside for this purpose so that people in Aintree and Melling can benefit.
"With the government’s cuts, it was vitally important that people in Aintree and Melling stepped forward to find a way of keeping a library for this community and I will continue to work with people from across the community to look after the people of the area.
“I was always optimistic about keeping a library in Aintree. That is why I had meetings with the churches and with the parish councils and talked to many residents about how the library might be saved. If the project is a success we will be able to say that a community library has been born.
"People in Croxteth have shown over the years what can be achieved through the Alt Valley Community Trust. I am sure that the people of Aintree and Melling can do the same and the Aintree Library Action Group will continue to have my full support in making this project a success.”
Gwen Bleasdale said: "We continue our fight to save library services for Aintree Village and all residents in Molyneux Ward and beyond by working up a way of running a Community Library.
"The Aintree Library Action Group has been established to develop a plan to save the library services. The possibilities are fantastic for us to take on the library ourselves."
Bill Esterson added: “I wish the group the best of luck and I shall be encouraging Sefton Council to give them all the support that they need to bring this plan to fruition.”
If you have ideas, if you want to tell Aintree Library Action Group what you want to be provided in the library, or if you want to volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org, go to the Facebook page athttp://www.facebook.com/
pages/Aintree-Library-Action-Group or follow the group on Twitter athttps://twitter.com/alagchair