£4m repair bill for Birmingham’s community libraries

Repayment schedule for the Library of Birmingham loans

Repayment schedule for the Library of Birmingham loans

A freedom of information response on the physical state of Birmingham’s community libraries has revealed an estimated total repair bill of over £4m. With 20 local libraries requiring repairs of £100k or more.

Hall Green Library is identified as being ‘poor condition generally and roof repairs are needed, possible concrete fatigue’ at an estimated cost of £300K.

Kingstanding Library ‘needs complete refurbishment including windows, decoration, lighting, flooring, heating, shelves etc’ again costing an estimated £300k.

The information was taken from an adjusted appraisal of the condition of community libraries in 2011 and is based on outline estimates at that time.

The information was requested by the Libraries campaign following the recent publication of the City Council ‘Developing Successful and Inclusive Communities’ Green Paper.

The Green Paper proposes that the District Committee’s review their local property portfolio’s and where possible close council buildings and integrating local council facilities.

Friends of the Libraries of Birmingham is concerned that the Community Libraries with the most expensive repairs will be most vulnerable for closure by the Council District Committee’s.

Only £236k was allocated in capital for the Community Libraries for 2013-14. This appraisal provides evidence of the neglect and underinvestment in the Community libraries under the present and previous council administrations.

The building and development of the Library of Birmingham Council will cost the City Council over £7m a year in capital charges for the next forty years with the £3m being taken from the Library of Birmingham budget.

The cost of one years capital charges on the Library of Birmingham would more than cover the cost of repairs to the local libraries.

The Library campaign commented:

In the year of the opening of our magnificent new library we call on Councillor Ian Ward to make a commitment to find the capital to repair out local libraries.

Cllr Ward has said that there is a future for libraries and that they should be at the heart of local communities, but that wont be the case if local libraries are closed!

Please contact and get involved in the Friends of the Libraries of Birmingham:

By e-mail friendsoflibraryofbirmingham@gmail.com

‘Like’ our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ friendsoftheLoB

And ‘follow’ us on Twitter @FoLoB_


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4 responses to “£4m repair bill for Birmingham’s community libraries

  1. Pingback: Birmingham Trades Council » £4m repair bill for Birmingham’s community libraries

  2. Pingback: Libraries and reading round up | Alan Gibbons' Diary

  3. An invite to the Birmingham Library campaign workshop

    Understanding the proposed cuts to the Library service?
    How can we support local campaigns to defend local libraries?
    How do we oppose these cuts on a citywide basis?

    On Saturday 26th October at 10.30am to 1pm

    @ Birmingham FoE, 54-57 Allison Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, West Midlands B5 5TH

    Due to the serious threat of the closure of Community libraries and reduction in the library service across the city we are organising a campaign workshop to discuss how we should plan and develop a campaign to oppose these cuts.

    The City Council will be producing its draft budget for 2014-15 to start a public consultation during December. The cuts proposals contained in the ‘Inclusive Communities’ Green Paper will be carried forward into this consultation: https://birminghamagainstthecuts.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/council-service-review-proposes-decimation-of-birminghams-public-libraries/

    Our aim is to get people together from across the city who are interested in libraries and to think about what we might do next

    Places are limited and you will need to book by e-mailing us at friendsoflibraryofbirmingham@gmail.com

    Organised by Friends of the Libraries of Birmingham.

  4. Pingback: Libraries News Round-up: 14th October 2013 | The Library Campaign

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