There are plans for a new lock up shop unit to be formed out of the front part of Upminster Library, following a re-configuration within the building to accommodate the existing library functions.
Following last years’ plans to reduce Upminster library opening hours, the residents association managed to reverse these changes and maintain full time hours, however it now appears that with budget restrictions tightening, the council are looking for ways for funding of the library.
According to the brochure from Andrew Chaplin it states “The Library service will be unaffected by the proposal which is intended to assist in funding the future cost of Upminster Library.”
I asked Upminster & Cranham Residents Association for some more information on the planned changes to the library and received the following response from Cllr Linda Hawthorn :
Upminster Library is a much treasured facility which provides a valuable service to residents across Upminster, Cranham and beyond. As part of the recent budget strategy, original plans to reduce Upminster to part time opening hours were successfully reversed and full time hours maintained. However, we face even more budget cuts over the next few years and it is a priority for us to protect the long term funding future of the Library. The potential to better employ underused parts of the Library was raised at the consultation meeting in December, with the possibility of a in-house ‘reading cafe’ gaining much support. The next step is seeking expressions of interest along those lines, but still maintaining existing services while not impacting negatively on the Library. This process is at a very early stage and any serious proposal would be subject to close examination to ensure that it is right for Upminster. If it is not, it will not happen.
We will ensure the residents are kept abreast of developments in this respect and would welcome any further suggestions or ideas that will help us protect the long term future of our Library.