REDDITCH Labour Party is calling for a public consultation to be held on the future of services at the town centre library.

Party members Joe Baker and Joanna Kane presented a petition signed by 1,870 people, headlined ‘Keep our library at the heart of Redditch – with a guaranteed plan and full services’ to Worcestershire County Council, earlier this month.

This follows public concerns about proposals to demolish the library with £4.2m of Town Deal money.

In an email sent on behalf of Cllr Matt Dormer, leader of Redditch Borough Council and Worcestershire County Council cabinet member with responsibility for communities, the county council has said is ‘no intention of reducing the library offer’ and 'is committed to delivering a full range of services'.

Joe Baker said: “While we welcome the commitment to delivering a wide range of services, the response doesn’t tell us if the library will be relocated and if so, where.

“We’re listening to residents who are very concerned about the future of their library services, so we’re calling on Worcestershire County Council to hold a full public consultation as soon as possible for local people to have their say.”

Joanna Kane said: “There is no guarantee that the number of books, public access computers or archives will be maintained in a new location, or that a relocated library will be equivalent in size, space and facilities.

“We still haven’t seen a viable plan showing that the future location of the library and its services will be at least as good as the existing service, and how this will be funded in the long term.

“We would also like to know what information has been communicated to the government following their request for more detail on the Town Deal bid, as they too were seeking answers on how residents will be able to access library services after the building is demolished.”

The county council said a report setting out plans for the future of the library will be presented to the cabinet early next year, with a date soon to be confirmed.