Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales has today secured a commitment from the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty to investigate why booklists of libraries previously under local authority control are not being passed on to community groups when libraries are being considered for transfer under the community asset transfer scheme.
Commenting following questions to the Minister today, Aled Roberts said:
“The whole point of the community asset transfer scheme is that services such as libraries which have been under the control of local authorities and are threatened with closure can be offered to local community groups as a going concern.
“At the moment some north Wales councils are reluctant to share their library booklists with interested community groups, and in other instances councils want to charge significant sums for sharing their booklists with community groups.
“This obviously makes it very difficult for those community groups to make informed decisions as to the viability of their proposals.
“The Minister has today agreed with me that this situation is unacceptable and is a fundamental barrier to the accessing of books and other resources. She has given her commitment to discuss the matter with the Deputy Minister for Culture and write to me with his response.
“I await the Minister’s response and will continue to press for guidance to be issued at a national level if the Welsh Labour Government fails to address this issue as a matter of urgency”.