(See BATC 16 January)
January 17th 2020
I am writing to you in relation to Erdington library, after many constituents have made representations to me of the withdrawal of necessary funding for vital remedial work to be undertaken at the library.
As I understand, in December, Birmingham City Council announced they would provide £30,000 to repair the library roof, which is leaking in at least eight places, some of which have been allowing in rain for several years and continue to damage books and computer equipment. However, a few weeks later this funding was withdrawn.
Constituents have made clear to me that they understand the serious financial situation of the City Council which has seen a nearly 40% reduction in its funding from the Government. Nevertheless, to allow a fine Grade 2 listed building – a Carnegie Library from 1907 – and a vital community resource to fall into decay is not acceptable. Indeed, the Carnegie library is a unique part of Erdington’s history and a great piece of architecture. It deserves to be maintained properly and its facilities open to the community. The cost of renewing the complete roof was previously estimated at £250,000 so it would seem £30,000 would be a reasonable figure to stop further deterioration.
There is strong support for Erdington Library and its staff from the local community, who are entirely opposed to any reduction in this valuable community resource, as already over 1200 signatories to a recent on-line petition has demonstrated.
I would therefore be grateful to meet with you, the Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, and the senior management of the library to seek an agreeable resolution to this issue and secure the necessary funding for vital remedial work to be undertaken at the library.
Member of Parliament for Birmingham, Erdington