Talks to continue on controversial Colburn Community Office move

The library at the Broadway in Colburn.

District council officers have recommended the proposed move of Colburn’s community office to a converted flat goes ahead – if no agreement can be reached about keeping the facility in the town’s library.

Richmondshire District Council put forward a plan to move the office from the library in Colburn to a converted flat in nearby Oak Tree Court.

The decision was discussed at a meeting last month, but a final decision was deferred for more information to be gathered amid concerns from residents and local councillors about the relocation to the residential area.

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Officers say the move is needed because of privacy and security concerns at the library facility and cramped working conditions for staff.

But residents are concerned the converted flat is not a suitable location for a community office and could increase anti-social behaviour and nuisance problems in the area.

They also say the building is in need of improvement work which has not been done, yet the council is willing to spend more than £50,000 on converting the flat.

After the concerns were raised, officers held talks with volunteers from Catterick, Richmond and Colburn Community Libraries (CRACCL), which runs the library, to see if it would be possible to keep the community office in the library by adapting the building.

Costs to alter the library to improve the community office are now being drawn up and officers propose that a deadline of December 31 should be set with CRACCL to reach agreement, if this option is to be pursued.

A report for this month’s corporate board meeting recommends the council’s preferred option to move to Oak Tree Court is approved, unless ‘satisfactory agreement’ can be reached with CRACCL by that deadline.

Officers are asking councillors to allow corporate director for resources Sian Moore to make a decision on whether any agreement is satisfactory, in discussion with the leader and deputy leader.

The move will be discussed by the corporate board on Tuesday.

To read the report click here.