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Library to be handed over to the community By Susan Hampshire
HONLEY library is to be transferred to community management. Kirklees Council has agreed to pass ownership of the 1930s building on West Avenue and its surrounding land to Holme Valley Parish Council. The parish council will, in turn, lease the building to the Friends of Honley Library which has supported and helped to develop the existing services since 2013. Before the current closure due to Covid regulations, the library was open for 19 hours a week with Kirklees library staff
working alongside volunteers. Under a five-year agreement as part of the asset transfer arrangements, Kirklees Library Service will continue to provide its current level of service with the day-to-day management of the library undertaken by the FOHL. “We have been working for over three years to make this asset transfer happen in order to ensure a more secure future for this important local resource,” said Jenny Lockwood, chair of the trustees of FOHL. In addition to working alongside library staff, volunteers run poetry
evenings, reading groups, a pop-up café and recycling events. They also organise family and children’s events working with schools and the wider community. Additional children’s events in school holidays
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include using favourite books, working with local authors, sharing art, craft, drama and music. Once it is safe to do so, all these activities will resume as the Friends work towards expanding the library’s role as a community hub.
The aim is to widen the range of activities and events which run in addition to the core library services. The Friends, working alongside Library Services, have also drawn up plans to improve the flexibility of the present library layout and to upgrade lighting, heating and internal decorations. Plans extend to the land surrounding the library where, with the support of Honley Community Growers and Friends of Honley/Honley Village Trust, volunteers hope to provide space for children’s events and other outdoor activities. “With the generous support of the Parish
Council, we look forward to developing the library and its grounds as a vibrant, welcoming community hub,” said Jenny. “We could not have achieved so much without a hard working team of volunteers and we hope to recruit more people to help us with our exciting plans for the future.” If you feel able to help or would like to discuss ideas for future projects at the library, contact: Ann Brooks at brooksat2@aol. com or 07980 254964, Jenny Lockwood at jenny1941@ icloud.com or 07913 382017 or Carrie Birch at carriebirchdirect@icloud. com
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