RESIDENTS and town councillors are considering making an offer to buy their library in a bid to stop it getting moved to another location.

People in Pershore fear moving the library from its central site in Church Street to the civic centre on the outskirts of the town in Queen Elizabeth Drive will have a negative impact on both the library and local shops.

Worcestershire County Council, which is currently consulting on what to do with the library, is contemplating the offer but it is unlikely to save the amount of money the county council says it needs to claw back.

Details of the proposal to buy the library have not yet been revealed. We previously reported in your Worcester News how about £178,000 needs to be spent on the 35-year-old library to bring it up to date, but the council also wants to make staff savings.

Brian Hall, president of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and a Pershore resident, presented the council’s cabinet with a petition against moving the library. He said: “Any attempt to move the library would mean that people, especially the elderly, would have to choose between visiting the library or doing their shopping; they could not do both.

“This could well be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back in respect of at least six local shops.”

Mr Hall, who taught librarianship at Birmingham City University for about 38 years, said between 500 and 600 people visited Pershore Library every day but that research showed many people were likely to use it less if it were moved. “In my view this proposal has not really been thought through and we hope to help the county council to find a way through this morass,” said Mr Hall.

We reported in February how the library site, together with the neighbouring former health centre site in Lower Priest Lane, could be used for one large housing development, although the county council refused to comment on the speculation while consultation on the library’s future is ongoing. That runs until April 22.

At Thursday’s meeting Councillor Philip Gretton, cabinet member for adult and community services, said he was happy to consider Mr Hall’s proposal.

Coun Gretton said he did not think moving the library would result in a “drastic reduction” of people using it and thought it would be even more accessible for those visiting the civic centre and health centre.

He said: “Our minds are not made up but what’s important and necessary is that we achieve the level of savings that could be achieved by moving the library to the civic centre, one way or another, and I hope we can arrive at a solution that does achieve those overall savings and pleases the majority of people in Pershore.”