Fears over the future of library

editorial image

a village could lose its library five years after the facility was saved from closure by a team of volunteers.

A dispute over the future of Walton Community Library could see it vacate its current premises at the village primary school.

It was kept open in 2012 when Wakefield Council could not afford to run after a deal was reached between library volunteers and Walton Primary school.

But now the arrangement could be terminated by Waterton Academy Trust, which runs the school.

Trust bosses said they had the right to end the project if use of the library and the number of children using it outside school hours did not increase.

The trust said in a statement: “In our opinion, the project has failed to deliver both of these objectives and therefore the school has an obligation to revisit the provision.”

The group which runs the library said a notice to vacate the premises had been received.

The academy trust said it was not evicting the library and had offered to help find new premises. The library group said there was no suitable alternative buildings in the village.

Jon Trickett MP criticised the academy trust in a letter to villagers.

He said: “The academy’s actions are totally unacceptable and I will help the residents of Walton to fight to keep the library open within the school.”

Bosses at Wakefield Council said they would be meeting the academy trust to try and resolve the dispute.

Michael Clements, the council’s assistant chief executive of, resources and governance, said: “The council has worked to support Walton Community Library since it was established in 2012 and we believe it offers a valuable service to local residents.”