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A SHIRLEY councillor has accused opposition members of using plans to move Shirley library as a “political football.”

With Solihull Council deciding whether to consult on proposals to relocate the library to Parkgate this week, Coun Peter Doyle (Con, Shirley South) said he was concerned that some members were “fear-mongering” over the issue.

With Solihull Council deciding whether to consult on proposals to relocate the library to Parkgate this week, Coun Peter Doyle (Con, Shirley South) said he was concerned that some members were “fear-mongering” over the issue.

“It’s off the back of leaflets that a number of non-Conservative councillors have put out which are tantamount to lies,” he said.

“I thought it was about time that some facts came out.

“The job of the opposition is to oppose what the administration does. But to just blindly oppose everything that’s happening and every little change is just scare-mongering.”

Coun Doyle said the proposal was a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for local people.

“It would have a much more modern feel, and the new building would give it much more flexibility,” he added.

“It won’t just be a library, we will get other services. There could be an IT training area to teach the elderly and disadvantaged or an area for youth activities.”

But Coun Andy Hodgson (Green, Shirley South) hit back at the claims, insisting the vast majority of locals didn’t want the move.

“Quite a number of people are questioning whether there is a business case for it,” he added.

“The most significant risk would be if the council was unable to sell the existing library building.

“The existing building has to be sold off to fund the relocation, but the council has found it very difficult to sell off surplus properties.

“In the current climate what guarantee is there that will happen?”

A council report to the community services committee stated the relocation, requiring a capital sum of £100,000-£150,000 to fit out the new library, “relies” on the sale of the existing Church Road property.

 

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