James Brokenshire has pledged to work with Bexley Council to pursue all options to secure continuing library services from Blackfen Library. James has discussed the future of the library with the leader of Bexley Council and the steps being taken to ensure the future of this important community resource.
Following a consultation, Bexley Council decided to pursue proposals to see the library at Blackfen run by a local community group rather than the Council, following the approach taken at Slade Green and Bexley Village. However, James has been clear that the move should only go ahead if services at the library, a well-supported meeting place and community venue, are protected.
The example of Bexley library shows that becoming a community library can improve the number and quality of services provided. Bexley now boasts longer opening hours and access to an onsite café that serves as a valuable space for reading and meeting people.
Commenting on the proposals, James said:
“Local residents have been clear about the importance of keeping Blackfen Library open. Since its move to the High Street, the library has provided a central place for groups to meet and a valuable resource for those seeking information, either digitally on the library’s computers or on the pages of its books. I use the library for some of my constituency surgeries”
“Whilst change may be necessary, I am clear that Blackfen Library should be protected and will be working with the Council to ensure that a suitable partner is found to maintain and hopefully build on the services local residents can expect to find behind the doors of Blackfen Library for years to come.”