LOCAL CONSERVATIVES IN CHARLTON HAYES AND PATCHWAY DRIVING IMPROVED LIBRARY SERVICE PLANS

New Conservative-led proposals, made public for the first time, are set to improve services and expand opening hours at Patchway Library.

Under the plans from South Gloucestershire Council, the installation of a new external door would allow for public access direct to the library outside of staffed hours at Patchway Hub where it is based, meaning substantially improved hours through the Open Access system.

Unlike other libraries in South Gloucestershire, which fully utilise Open Access technology to allow public access outside staffed hours, Patchway Library – which has the Open Access system installed – is presently subject to the Hub’s opening hours, with availability of services subsequently limited.

The scheme, which would be financed entirely through developer contribution funding, would not only bring operating hours at Patchway Library into line with the others across South Gloucestershire, but would also save taxpayers’ money. Presently Patchway Town Council contribute £18,000 a year towards staffing costs in the library but, with Open Access in full swing, this funding would no longer be required.

Since the introduction of Open Access by South Gloucestershire Council’s Conservative Administration, opening hours at libraries across the district have seen a massive expansion, with services now available to the public for an extra 593 hours a week.

Having proposed the concept and led progression of the plans with Council officers, local Conservatives Cllrs Jo Buddharaju, Brian Hopkinson and Sanjay Shambhu, who sit on both on Patchway Town Council and at South Gloucestershire Council, welcomed the plans during a public presentation at the meeting of Patchway Town Council on Tuesday, September 15.

Cllrs Jo Buddharaju, Brian Hopkinson and Sanjay Shambhu, who represent the Charlton and Cribbs ward, including Charlton Hayes and parts of Patchway, said: “The introduction of Open Access technology has had a tremendous impact on giving the public more opportunities to make use of the important services that our libraries offer, and by installing a new external door, not only would we be able to fully make use of that system, but would save taxpayers’ money.

“We are pleased to have progressed these plans and will continue to work with the Council to ensure residents in Patchway can reap the same benefits as other areas in South Gloucestershire.”