CAMPAIGNERS for a new community library in Twyford are disappointed that there has been a delay to the plans.
As we revealed last week, Wokingham Borough Council’s executive committee last Thursday agreed to set aside £640,000 in its capital budget to ensure funding was in place to convert the former Polehampton Boys School into a new community hub.
Although planning permission had been granted, this will expire this month. No work can take place on the Grade II listed building until negotiations have been concluded between the trust that owns the building and the council.
The council’s executive met on Thursday, September 26, and felt that the money would be a fantastic investment into children’s educational development, adult learning and wellbeing and the Twyford community.
The Executive Member for Regeneration, Councillor Charlotte Haitham Taylor, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that we have agreed to support this very worthwhile project and we will be asking for funding to restore this beautiful building into full use; it deserves to be renewed and given back to the community to fully appreciate and enjoy.
“These plans will also provide the local community with a much-enhanced library facility, fit for the future needs of all residents.
“Our ambitions for the library and the school still need to go through planning permission but this is a fantastic step in the road to regenerate not only Wokingham Town Centre, but the rest of the borough too.
“Negotiations have commenced with the Polehampton Trust to secure the lease for the property, and we are confident that we will enter into a deal that meets their aims to promote education for the residents in the parish of Twyford.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Stephen Conway, who had been leading the call for a community hub in the village for a number of years said: “I’m a bit disappointed.
“I’ve been campaigning for very, very many years and there’s widespread support for it in the community. Although we’ve got a delay caused by the negotiations, it is just a delay.
“There is still a very strong commitment that this will still happen. The leader of the council, Cllr John Halsall, is committed to it and I believe the Polehampton charities are still committed to it.
“I’ll do what I can, as I know [fellow Twyford councillor] Lindsay Ferris will try and make sure this happens.”