Have your say on Pheasey Library

I have received the Conservatives leaflet today which of course mentions the Library situation. I will keep my own personal view of their tactics from this post but lets say they are playing deeply cynical politics over it.

I do support fully the retaining of the services at the library wherever possible and remembering the Council like all the Urban councils in the UK are facing the brunt of cuts in the UK.

Therefore I have put my views to the Library consultation HERE and I urge anyone with a view to do the same. As promised and unlike others I have suggested a solution. If we remember a few years ago the library was then threatened and costs were cut by –

– reduction of hours

– reduction of staff by voluntary measures

We can not do any more than that now and my information is the rent the library makes to the Collingwood Centre could be considered a peppercorn rent so little to save there.

My solution therefore is for users of the library to contribute a small fee every time it used. This could be in the form of a voluntary donation on a trial basis or say charges of £1-£2 per visit. It is vital the library is saved but every time there is a budget round it will be under threat when other core services have to be protected like education, social services etc.

There is only so much that can be cut before you are left with no alternatives.

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24 thoughts on “Have your say on Pheasey Library

  1. Ian if you are going to enter the debate please get your facts right
    The library does not pay rent to the Collingwood
    Volunteers were put in place to extend opening hours not cut them thanks to our policies – it did not take off anywhere else in the Borough but your own Council Leader has now called for volunteers to run services.

    Can you clarify your policy – to charge on top of the Council Tax for people to visit the library – is that correct?

    • Thats my PERSONAL policy, like any individual I have submitted my views to the process over this. Now of course you go around and claim you would never have made this cut, so now will you say how you would have saved £500K then ? after all you refused to set three year budgets before hoping to get through each year.

      You knew the figures up until the middle of August until you decided to give up running the council. you all have said in your leaflet cuts have to be made, so come on then Adrian, what would you do to save £500K ?

      What did Mike say a few months ago about the cuts being very unfair, that means hard decisions have to be made doesn’t it ?

      Oh I would extend the charging plan all over the area to every library.

      On another forum where Marco was talking about the garden ‘tax’ he too refused to say what he would have cut instead, that position is simply not rational is it ?

      As you very well know these are only proposals and through consultation and ideas plans can be changed. When they come to be voted on in March you will also be aware if Pete Smith sticks to his planned position of setting an illegal budget and all non Labour councillors vote against the budget it will fall.

      It is right, we are open to ideas that saves the money and keeps any service open, so instead of simply saying NO NO NO I ask you and your colleagues to state your ideas ?

      I hate every single cut being made and politically and economically I believe no cuts are needed to be made. As the IMF confirmed, advising austerity in 2010 was a mistake. Your own party’s plans of making a further £30BN of cuts will surely mean even more cash disappears from Walsall and how much will Surrey have to sacrifice ?

      • Your party has not set a 3 budget either as Cllr Mrs Couglan found out at Social Care Scrutiny after it was pointed out by Cllr Bird.

        My post was quite conciliatory and pointing out that some of your facts are wrong. You will note that it is fact Pheasey was not on the list when we were running the administration because of the issues of isolation. The garden tax was put to us by officers for many years and we continually said no. District Centre parking charges were put to us over many years and we continually said no. You will not there are no petitions against going to alternate weeks for waste collection – something we were considering as long as people have waste collected weekly.

        We did not decide to give up running the Council apart from the desperation for power by your colleagues there were not enough people to support the status quo. There were 29 non labour Councillors at the meeting and 30 Labour Councillors and 31 voted for a – a UKIP Councillor was away and your party paid for three to come back off their hols.

  2. so how would you save the £500K from the library budget then ? I am quite aware that the 8 threatened are the same 8 that were a few years ago. Also there is no political bias here is there, they are simply the lowest 8 attended regardless of being ‘tory or labour’ areas.

    So given even more cuts could be likely if you won in 2015 how would you protect the things you are saying NO for, something has to give as neither you or I want a budget set illegally do we ?

    So if you were still in power now, can you let the people know how you would save the money for the libraries ?

  3. The main question is is the library more Inportant than child care that is the postion that this councill is in.

    The last administration ducked out by refusing to try and keep power as demonstrated by councillor Andrew abstatined in the vote to keep rather than try and keep power. Because he need to be able to say look it’s them not me who spent all the money

    Isn’t it appoling they try to spin everything to say it’s not me rubbish they spent all the money it’s there government who are cutting amount our councillor get

  4. Simple! again I say 68billion dodged by individuals and large firms and hypocritical newspapers sending profits offshore( IMF,2110) and at least 55billion according to OBR dodged,get our privately educated rich politicians and their paymasters to actually get this money,It can Be started ,but don’t hold your breath we will all be supplied with caps soon to doff when the rich pass by!

    • Indeed this country and any other ‘modern’ country is more than rich enough, the determination of politics is how you allocate those resources.

  5. A number of individuals seem to have really had it in for the long suffering good people of Pheasey/Park Farm over recent years; Firstly, historic local landmark Great Barr Hall was allowed to fall into a state of rapid and serious decline from the late 1970’s onwards; Euro-Labour later dumped hundreds of homes into Great Barr Park against the wishes of a large majority of local residents; then the Victorian Gate-Keepers cottage on the Queslett Road was gutted in a ‘mysterious’ fire; and just a few months ago plans were submitted to further desecrate Great Barr Park by dumping another 59 houses (and more new roads and car/coach parking spaces) in that particular part of the Green Belt.
    Added to all of that we have the long running saga of the eyesore derelict former garage sites on the Queslett Road and on the junction of Moreton Avenue and Beacon Road; and just recently the threat to close Pheasey/Park Farm library, a threat to build up to six more large houses in the local Green Belt; and a threat to impose a charge (across Walsall) on top of the Council Tax for removing garden waste. Going on the evidence of all of the bags of garden waste i’ve seen dumped across the various parts of Birmingham i’ve travelled through over recent months, what’s the betting that the same large scale fly tipping of garden waste will occur here in Walsall if such a charge is introduced across the Borough?
    My family have lived in Pheasey/Park Farm since 1959; and like i’m sure a majority of Park Farm residents and large numbers of Pheasey residents, we have used the services of the surgery on Moreton Avenue and the chemists next door for all of that time. Myself and my family consider them to be an excellent local practise and chemist, both well sited and easily accessible on foot for most (able-bodied) people in Park Farm and Pheasey.
    I was in Walkers Pharmacy (on Moreton Avenue) this afternoon and was informed about plans to close the surgery and chemists on Moreton Avenue and the surgery at the Scott Arms on the Walsall Road and move both practises into the disused solicitors offices down on the Birmingham/Asda side of the Queslett Road just along from the fenced off former entrance to that part of the old (Blue Circle Cement??) quarry.
    Myself and my family do not want the Moreton Avenue surgery and Walkers Pharmacy to close and to move down over onto the Queslett Road, we want them to stay exactly where they are now. It will be interesting to see what our good neighbours think about these plans over the coming days, weeks and months, especially older residents/young parents/local people who do not drive or own a car and who might not be overly thrilled at the prospect of losing currently easily accessible services in favour of new services down on the other side of an always very busy Queslett Road.

    • Steve, the problem you highlight with the doctors and pharmacy is of course they are both private businesses and allowed to do what they like. By moving to that site they may be looking at gaining more customers/patients from the new development on Booths Lane and Netherhall, a perfectly understandable business decision.

      Not useful for current ‘customers’ but I would totally agree with you that services should be provided at a loss where there is a greater social need. Is that something you and your party believe in ?

  6. Over the last four years the amount money has been cut by £79.67 million from the central government. That is 43% of the total amount of money received from central government to fund things like our library’s , chide care, housing benefit.. etc. Next year there is a £6 million pounded cut planned? With more functions that central government fund being transferred to the local council without any additional funding such as working family credits which creates bigger pressures on the amount of money the council has to use.

    At the same time the council is finned if they increases council tax. For example if the council increases the tax by £10 to cover the cost of running the library £9 pounds goes strait to central government in a fine. So what do the council do to square the books they cut services such as the library, funding to the parks, Brown bins .ect

    The issue I have that the library is the last visible service that Walsall provide for pheasey I believe that we need to re-tasked the library so it is not just the library but a community meeting place that can be booked, a place where the council can publish information relevant to the aria , where you can get expert advice from council offices, where our councillors and MP can hold weekly/monthly surgeries. In effect make it a local office where any council business can be done this would relive the staffing issues on the main council offices and may even see posts being moved to these aria , by the way why are the aria officers not biased in the local library ?

    Sorry I fell strongly that the library needs to be kept but it is being played with by local councillors who have historical continued to cut services run at the library to the point of no return . since the conservatives have been in power ether in collation with the lib dems or on their own since 2002 I find it rich that they are saying “save the library” they had plenty to time to do this by putting other services into the library but they did not in fact were closing it by a thousand cuts reducing it’s hours , manning it with volunteers reducing the number of books it stock .. ect

    Typical political spin I will save the library. The councillors won’t promise to reinstate the library if it is close NO WAY WILL THEY DO THAT which just shows there true colours

    Pissed off that they are taking the mickey out of us

    • Dave, I think your idea is excellent one for the Library and the future. As we know more and more people have kindle’s etc to read from. The stats show using these devices more and more people are reading and therefore over time there is less of a need for the traditional library.

      What you suggest is a modern version of what we had before where Robert Court now is and that is a combined Neighbourhood and Library office set for the modern times.

      I totally agree now how do we go about finding a way to close the funding gap ? Did you see the E&S last night and they said the use of the Library had gone up a bit. So there is a demand but we do not know the running costs per year of the current service or any in the past to close the gap.

      Would Adrian be able to confirm this as he would be closer to these figures than anyone else.

    • “The issue I have that the library is the last visible service that Walsall provide for pheasey I believe that we need to re-tasked the library so it is not just the library but a community meeting place that can be booked, a place where the council can publish information relevant to the aria , where you can get expert advice from council offices, where our councillors and MP can hold weekly/monthly surgeries. In effect make it a local office where any council business can be done this would relive the staffing issues on the main council offices and may even see posts being moved to these aria , by the way why are the aria officers not biased in the local library ?”

      This is exactly what happens now in partnership with the Collingwood Centre hence why we are trying to save it, Pheasey Park Farm is isolated and people are not able to access other Walsall Services.

      • What about the children’s centre at Pheasey, they plan to close that as well! Pheasey is considered an affluent area by the council and so children’s services are going to be withdrawn. The nearest children’s centre will be in te centre of Walsall!

      • Your right Sophie the Children’s Centre is in danger along with 9 out of the 15 in Walsall. I note the Tories do not mention that because of course they opposed Sure start as it was and around the country hundred’s have been closed, so many that they refuse to put it on the government websites.

        You may think it is over political what I say but you bet it is. My child went as a baby and still uses the facilities there and it is fantastic facility and does not undercut private provision as Tories may claim. No doubt if Pheasey is on the list to be closed they Adrian and his pals will launch another campaign and yet again fail to tell people exactly how they will make the savings. He has been asked twice and refused to, that is telling.

  7. Hi Ian, myself and UKIP are all for supporting successful businesses and practises; especially those businesses and practises that serve the requirements of local communities such as pharmacies and surgeries looking after the needs of NHS patients. The surgery and chemists on Moreton Avenue have been serving the residents of Pheasey/Park Farm since circa 1958 and i’ve never heard any talk of them ever struggling or being run at a loss; both have always appeared to be successful concerns to my view.
    If you have information that either Walkers Pharmacy or the surgery are currently being run at a loss, as you appear to be intimating, perhaps you could furnish more details?

    • I said nowt about a loss but with an extra 400 homes is it on Booths Lane, with the road totally rebuilt then access to more doctors etc is needed. Across the West Mids and beyond Doctor’s and pharmacies are combining under one roof and in fact doctor’s are changing into health centres, mainly to stop the likes of Asda grabbing customers.

      If true it would be interesting to see the planning application for it as Queslett Road is busy enough as it is and those buildings there are quite large.

  8. Hi Ian, when you have a moment nip into Walkers and you’ll see a newspaper article under glass on the counter containing information relating to the plans to convert the disused solicitors offices on the Queslett Road into a new surgery and pharmacy.
    There are indeed going to be around 400 new homes built along and in the vicinity of Booths Lane and of course the residents there will need access to a surgery and pharmacy. I just feel that it’s a pity that myself, my family and many other residents in Pheasey/Park Farm may lose our easily accessible and very popular surgery and chemists on Moreton Avenue if both services are moved down onto the Queslett Road. Patients of the easily accessible surgery on the Walsall Road at the Scott Arms are likewise probably going to be less than thrilled at the prospect of having to travel around a mile down the Queslett Road if the surgery at the ‘Scott’s’ is closed too!! – Especially older residents, young parents, older residents who no longer drive or residents who do not drive or own a car.
    As we’ve both now stated, clearly the Queslett Road is very busy indeed; and from around 7 to 7.30 am until about 8.30 to 9pm Monday to Saturday.
    The last thing local residents need are even more vehicles being driven on the Queslett Road.

  9. ADRIAN

    You are deliberately confusing the issue we are talking about the library not the rest of the centre i have used the library on a regular baizes and none of the additional services have subjected are setup or advertised used in the library by the way did you not vote to reduce the number of books opening times and available resources to the libraries when you were in control of the council ?

  10. ok Steve

    Are you saying ukpi will take into ownership all private business who deuced to move out of the local aria as per your statement regarding walkers chemists or are you saying it is your personal belief that that private businesses must seek your approval to move shops ?

  11. Dave; i have said absolutely nothing with regard to UKIP (or anyone else for that matter) taking into ownership (and i presume that you mean State ownership) any private business that decides to move from one area to another?????
    I have also said absolutely nothing with regard to private businesses having to seek my approval to move from one premises to another???????
    I have however remarked that myself and members of my family would prefer the surgery and pharmacy on Moreton Avenue to stay where they are; as may a fair number of other Pheasey/Park Farm residents. i’ve also remarked on the possibility of individuals living in and around the general area of the Scott Arms perhaps not being too happy at maybe having to travel the best part of a mile down the Queslett Road for doctors appointments/medical advice if the Walsall Road surgery is also closed and is then re-located at the disused solicitors offices site.

  12. Go for it Steve just change your tune as any good politico can.

    So you now admit there is nothing you can do to stop the pharmacy and the doctors from moving expect changing where you go. So what has this to do with the library? were you trying to link the two together so people would think the councill controls both? Or was it just to mump your gums and get your name in lighits

  13. Dave; Erm????? – Change my tune with regard to what exactly??????????????? – What on earth are you on about/referring to??????????
    You also appear to be mistaking me for someone else. It seems that you have either heard someone talking about stopping both the surgery and pharmacy on Moreton Avenue from closing and re-locating – or have read about someone stating that they intend to stop the surgery and pharmacy from closing and re-locating. I have never said that i can/could stop the surgery and pharmacy from being closed and re-located???????????
    What has the possibility of both the surgery and pharmacy on Moreton Avenue being closed and re-located to do with the threat to close Pheasey/Park Farm library? Absolutely nothing.
    I have never (as you suggest) ‘tried’ to link the threat to close the library and the surgery and pharmacy; and as it’s unlikely that anyone in Pheasey/Park Farm would actually think that any local Council would have control of a chemists and a GP surgery, i wouldn’t waste my time attempting to convince anyone that Councils possibly may have such control over privately owned concerns!!!!!!!
    What i did actually do, back on November 18th, was to list a series of events that have impacted badly on a majority of local residents here in Pheasey/Park Farm over a number of years. Mentioning the threat to close the library, pharmacy and surgery, were featured towards the latter part of that post.
    The only place to date i have written/posted anything with regard to the threat to close the Moreton Avenue surgery and pharmacy and see both re-located elsewhere, is on this thread. You mention getting ‘my name in lights’ with regard to my mentioning this issue, so you clearly have a very high regard for this particular website ( as i indeed do myself); Ian will hopefully be pleased to receive such positive feedback.

    • cheers Steve, this site is just about people having views and their say, regardless of political persuasion. I would disagree obviously with what you have to say a lot of the times but you are of course allowed to have that say.

  14. Hi Ian; Individuals such as ourselves have over a number of years written to newspapers at both National and local level. For some people that may not seem a very appealing way to express a particular viewpoint (should the author of any given letter be fortunate enough to see their efforts appear in print); which is where your website comes into it’s own as a place where a larger number of individuals may feel more inclined to comment on topics of interest to them, whether political issues or otherwise.
    The website has of course also become the place where growing numbers of Pheasey/Park Farm residents hear about important local issues first. For example, i first heard about the renewed threat to close our library on here, even before the subject/issue was mentioned to me a short time afterwards by one of UKIP’s 3 Walsall Councillors!
    Likewise, i first heard about the serious outbreak of anti-social behaviour in Nether Hall last Autumn, on here.

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