STONEHOUSE town councillors have agreed to begin talks which could see the library move into the town hall.

At a meeting last night the town council voted to move forward with plans from Gloucestershire County Council, which will now produce a proposal for public consultation.

If approved, the library would be ‘co-located’ within Stonehouse town hall in the High Street from its current site in Elm Road.

Stonehouse Mayor Theresa Watt said: “We look forward to seeing how the proposals develop and welcome the commitment from Gloucestershire County Council to work with us to help improve the services we offer and create a better Stonehouse for all.”

Under the proposals the library would remain in the town hall for a minimum of 25 years with a two-to-three year notice period to move.

“This is the first step in a process that is fantastic news for Stonehouse,” said county councillor for Stonehouse Lesley Williams.

“Better access to the library at the centre of a new community hub is something that I have worked hard for.

“I welcome the joint working between the county and town council and hope that it will bring further benefits for the residents and business of Stonehouse.”

The plans aim to secure the long-term future of the library and could see GCC contribute towards the running costs of the building based on the floor space provided.

Cllr Tim Harman, cabinet member responsible for libraries at Gloucestershire County Council, feels that this is a step forward to creating a community hub in the centre of Stonehouse, as well as a chance to improve the library’s services.

“This is an exciting development and I welcome the decision of Stonehouse Town Council to work with us to deliver an improved and more accessible local library service,” he said.

“This is at the moment an option that will now be considered in more detail.

“If adopted the proposals will see the library move to a high street location, and be part of a new community hub in the centre of Stonehouse.

“The proposals will also bring about better opportunities to engage with the community and increase partnership working with the town council."