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Maintaining libraries while Council spending is cut is an important test of the Big Society.

Gloucestershire County Council is seeking to keep libraries open with Big Community Offer. One business case likely to get the green light is the bid from Painswick Parish Council and Community Library in Painswick (CLIP).

Peter Corley said:

"We aim to develop a community library for the 21st century as the core of a wide range of services to be developed to meet the needs of Painswick and the surrounding areas.

"We have formed a group of trustees which includes professional librarians and people with a wide range of relevant experience in business, marketing, charity administration, law and the public sector.

"We have received an enormous amount of support from the community."

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of the Council, said:

"These 17 business plans demonstrate how serious communities are about taking on these buildings.

"Each of these projects is different and has been designed to fit the local community it serves and I am confident they can be a big success.

"Gloucestershire County Council has worked closely with the organisations to get the plans off the ground and we will continue to support them once the decision has been confirmed."

Those who want to help ensure libraries are maintained should back the use of volunteers rather than seeking to waste Council Taxpayers money on legal fees – which means there is less money for books and librarians.

The Municipal Journal reports that legal action has been taken to seek to disrupt the strategy of democratically elected councillors in Gloucestershire.

Council leader, Cllr Mark Hawthorne says:

"We have always been confident in our library strategy. I’m pleased that we only have to wait until September for the full hearing."

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