FoPL enters discussions with Pennard Community Council to lease land for a new library for South Gower
The current site of the library is no longer available for lease. Following the advice from City and County of Swansea’s Cabinet Member for Education, Jen Raynor, FoPL has approached the Pennard Community Council with a proposal to lease land to the rear of the Community Hall.
Councillor Raynor made it clear that there was no surplus land on the current site to house a library, as the additional space might be needed for the school, in the next five years. She stated: “The option of a long term lease on the current site is not viable, and there are no long term lease options available for anyone. I note that FoPL has worked hard to secure and sustain a library service. In the short term, we may consider a short renewable lease, although this does not guarantee a library service. Although there is a Commissioning Review being undertaken to include the future of all libraries, FoPL must concentrate its efforts in looking at an alternative site, and to employ a librarian or develop the use of volunteers to sustain the library service” (Councillor Jen Raynor, Cabinet Member for Education).
On the 8th December, FoPL met with Pennard Community Councillors to discuss its request, and supporting business case, to lease land. Councillors voiced their support for the continuation of library service in Pennard in principle, but were extremely hesitant about granting FoPL’s request. Thankfully, both parties have agreed to continue in discussion and convene a public meeting in order for the community to hear the details of the proposals and to voice its views.
As the business case is firmly based upon the footfall of the current campus, and seeks to ensure that the 240 pupils of Pennard Primary School continue to benefit from their weekly visits, it is unlikely that another site would be viable. This could well be the last chance of saving the library service for South Gower.
Please go to http://www.fopl.org.uk to see the business plan presented to the community council and the answers to questions raised so far by councillors.
Please email the council’s clerk, Mrs Fiona Pearce, with your views: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, please attend the community council’s next meeting on Wednesday 16th December, at 7 p.m. in the small hall at Pennard Community Centre – where there will be a short time for questions from the public.
In appreciation of your continued support,Friends of Pennard Library