Group launch Save Sutton Coldfield Library Service campaign

A group of residents opposed to Birmingham City Council’s proposed closure of Sutton Coldfield town centre library have come together to campaign against the plan.

sutton coldfield library building

At the group’s inaugural meeting, held on Wednesday 16th November, it was agreed that there was an urgent need to raise awareness of the City Council plans and a strategy to this end was identified.

In addition, it was recognised that the probability of keeping the library in its current location is minimal due to the likelihood of the Red Rose centre being sold by BCC and that an alternative proposal for keeping it in central Sutton Coldfield should be put together.

Further to raising awareness, a public rally is being planned for Saturday 10th December in Sutton Coldfield town centre from 11am.

The group also agreed on the general principle that they didn’t want to fight for a Sutton Coldfield town centre library service at the cost of other libraries elsewhere in Birmingham and later stated on their Facebook page:

“Everyone everywhere is entitled to a good local library service, and we don’t want the campaign to ignore the wider situation across Birmingham.”

Drawing on the process employed by Sutton Coldfield Arts and Recreational Trust in the development of their business plan for the Town Hall, it was felt that it would not be unreasonable for BCC to give the group more time to come up with some concrete proposals for the library.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/groups/1006227906167320

5 Things You Can Do Today

  1. Join the ‘Save Sutton Coldfield Library’ Facebook Group and encourage others to do the same. www.facebook.com/groups/1006227906167320
  2. Sign one of the online petitions at:
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-library-services-open-in-royal-sutton-coldfield-town-centre
    https://www.change.org/p/birmingham-city-council-save-sutton-coldfield-libraries
  3. Visit the Birmingham City Council Be Heard site and take part in the consultation: https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/place/community-libraries/consult_view
  4. Email your local councillor.
    Sutton Trinity Ward
    City Councillors:
    margaret.waddington@birmingham.gov.uk
    david.pears@birmingham.gov.uk
    ewan.mackey@suttontrinityconservatives.co.uk

    Town Councillors:
    Claire.Bennett@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Maria.Hewett@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Charlotte.Hodivala@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Ewan.Mackey@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    David.Pears@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Keith.Ward@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk

    Sutton New Hall Ward
    City Councillors:
    alex.yip@birmingham.gov.uk
    ken.wood@birmingham.gov.uk
    david.barrie@birmingham.gov.uk

    Town Councillors:
    Leeford.Allen@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Joanne.Ellis@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Derrick.Griffin@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Rachel.Okello@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    John.Perks@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Terry.Wood@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk

    Sutton Vesey Ward
    City Councillors:
    lyn.collin@birmingham.gov.uk
    andrew.hardie@birmingham.gov.uk
    rob.pocock@birmingham.gov.uk

    Town Councillors:
    Janet.Cairns@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Paul.Long@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Liz.Parry@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Louise.Passey@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Rob.Pocock@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Manish.Puri@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk

    Sutton Four oaks Ward
    maureen.cornish@birmingham.gov.uk
    m.jenkins@rapidcomputing.co.uk
    anne.underwood@birmingham.gov.uk

    Town Councillors:
    David.Allan@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Clare.Horrocks@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Christopher.Ives@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Owen.Jenkins@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Jane.Mosson@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk
    Simon.Ward@SuttonColdfieldTownCouncil.gov.uk

    You can also write to City Councillors via:
    Council House
    Victoria Square
    Birmingham
    B1 1BB

    And Town Councillors:
    Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council
    Suite 6,
    AFE Business Centre,
    62 Anchorage Road,
    Sutton Coldfield,
    B74 2PG

  5. Use this website! Make use of the comment box on this page to share your thoughts on the City Council’s proposals.

6 Responses

  1. Peter says:

    From the day the council signed the papers to buy The Red Rose Centre the library was doomed. Good to see residents fighting the council’s easy option of simply closing it rather than relocating.

  2. Cllr Manish Puri says:

    I think it is vital that as many people as possible use the Birmingham City Council Be Heard site or write to Birmingham City Council to express their reasons for retaining a significant Library presence in Sutton Coldfield Town Centre. It is important to articulate that the library does much more than lend books. It houses an important archive of Sutton Coldfield’s history, our history in one place where we and future generations can explore our heritage. It provides access to IT facilities for those who may not have other provision – access which is increasingly important to make use of local and government services and for JSA claiments who are obliged to show evidence of regular searches for work.

    This is in some ways an opportunity to look at what a 21st Century library should look like and how it can provide a wider range of relevant services perhaps in partnership with other organisations and groups. I was pleased that our own Royal Town Council unanimously passed a resolution to work with BCC to help retain a Town Library and Sutton Coldfield BID have also publicly declared their support to keep a Town Library. Sutton Coldfield has campaigned successfully for the creation of its Town Council, recognition of its royal status and pause on plans to build on the Green Belt. On this important issue too we can work together as a town for a positive outcome.

  3. James A says:

    I wonder if someone could explain what will happen to any money the council receives from the sale of The Red Rose Centre which is home to the current library building?

  4. Rob Pocock says:

    The City Council bought the Red Rose Centre from the previous pension fund for approx. ÂŁ10 million. The current policy is not to sell it, but to retain it as a (hopefully) appreciating asset against which to borrow for infrastructure investment. What would make sense, is for that investment to be part of the planned long term regeneration of Sutton Town Centre as laid out in the Birmingham Development Plan 2031 w2hich levers in commercial investment too.

    If the City Council and the Town Council work sensibly together for the wider good of Sutton, an early step could be to create the kind of multi-use community hub that Manish Puri outlines above, as part of this regeneration. This has now got added momentum now we have the independent Library Lobby campaign which includes some skilled community activists!

  5. Mike says:

    Accepting the world is changing and that most are impacted in one way or another by cuts it is important to hold Birmingham City Council to account. We were told the library service had to make cuts as part of the overall cost saving measures other departments are having to make. However costs presented were false. Closing the library does not secure the savings stated. Until the council sell the centre the taxpayers of this city will still have to pay for the building to remain empty. I think we should all club together and buy them an abacus as they seem to have issues when it comes to adding up. I really don’t know why after all these years, including pre austerity, we have to put up with a council that just constantly fails its citizens? Forget the politics this city of ours deserves better.