Labour’s top local politicians confirmed the importance of Glossop Library on their agenda last week when the leaders of both the County and Borough Councils met with the SOUL (Save Our Unique Library) group Chair to share future plans.
Derbyshire County Council Leader Anne Western had almost her whole Cabinet and Cabinet Deputy members with her as they journeyed to Glossop to confirm their pre-election pledge to retain a library service in the Victoria Hall and enhance provision as part of the newly integrated adult education centre and Library campus.
High Peak Council leader Caitlin Bisknell said that she was pleased that the first port of call for the Cabinet outside Matlock had been the Glossop Library campus and that she was particularly pleased at the ways in which the common interests of the County, the Borough and SOUL were expressed.
“Local people don’t want to know who owns what and why we can’t do this and can’t do that,” she told the cabinet members. “Glossop people are proud of these buildings, want to preserve them
and want to make better use of them. We are here to help them do just that, and to allocate the remainder of the £2,000,000 Derbyshire Labour set aside five years ago.”
Local Councillor Ellie Wilcox will be the lead cabinet deputy on the project and says she is looking forward to opening consultations as soon as is practical. She confirmed that the former plan, which only had two supporters throughout Glossopdale, had already been condemned to the annals of history.
Damien Greenhalgh, who is also one of Labour’s up and coming Cabinet Deputies explained that his responsibilities around education and learning will equip him to influence the integration of community learning with a community library.
“There will need to be a phased development, with bite sized chunks of investment being used to transform the historic campus as a prelude to other work in other parts of Glossop,” said Caitlin Bisknell.
SOUL confirmed that they were interested in joining with the Borough and County Councils as well as other local groups, in moving the project forward, as well as in securing external funding from heritage and learning organisations.
SOUL Chair Ian Bennett said “This marks a new era for SOUL. Our first meeting was positive and we hope to be working with the grain in future, rather than across it.”