Council still talking to two potential library partners

cobbett road library event 18 7 22 600px v2P101027 r comunian While the council had been expected to name its preferred ‘bidder’ to run the Cobbett Road library by today (Dec 22), it has issued a statement to say it’s still in discussions with two potential partners as a result of its latest call for applicants.

 

The new deadline for applicants was December 15.

We previously reported that it’s likely any reopening won’t now be before the end of March 2023, although the then new Labour administration said in June it had hoped to open it again by the end of this year.

cobbett road library event 18 7 22 600px v2P101027 r comunian

Cllr Toqeer Kataria (Lab), cabinet member for communities and customer engagement, said today:

“We are pleased that following a tender process, we are in discussion with two preferred partners to take over the running of Cobbett Road Hub & Library. The Council will now support these organisations through the next stage of the process and no further announcements will be made until that has been concluded.

“Thank you to the residents of Bitterne Park and the Friends of Cobbett Road Library for your patience as we work to find a sustainable offer that will benefit the local community in the coming years.”

Responding to the announcement, Cllr Tony Bunday (Lab), a Bitterne Park ward councillor, said: "As an interested  local councillor who has attended  a number of meetings to look at how the building can continue to remain in community use, with a library function as part of this, I am delighted that there are not one but two groups looking to take this on and seen as viable but (sic) the Council.    I very much hope that in the new year we will hear of plans to fully reopen the building.  I believe this is too good a  community basset (sic) not to be fully utilised."

Since February 2021 the building has continued to be used for a variety of activities including exercise, wellbeing and homework support groups, and the council said the Friends of Cobbett Road Library have been maintaining the gardens.

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