Falkirk Library will still become an advice hub

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The local authority is still going ahead with its plans to transform Falkirk Library into a central advice hub despite concerns over its suitability for this purpose.

Back in March the executive agreed to progress proposals to locate the central advice hub in Falkirk Library, so it will join the already operational east advice hub in Grangemouth and the proposed west advice hub in Carronbank House, Denny.

It was stated a co-located facility like the one proposed for Falkirk Library would bring a number of benefits, including linking up services for customers and providing capital and running cost advantages to Falkirk Council and Falkirk Community Trust.

The move would see housing staff moving out of their current base in Callendar Square and relocating to the library in Hope Street.

At Tuesday’s executive meeting, Councillor Malcolm Nicol said: “The fact we are taking people out of the traditional High Street and moving them to the library does concern me – and also the library, as we have known over the last week or so, does have problems.”

Councillor Nicol asked is there was a way to “pause” the development of Falkirk Library as the council’s central advice hub.

Executive convener Dennis Goldie said he had been informed the library required a new roof, had a problem with dry rot and certain structural problems.

However, development services director Rhona Geisler said the only work she was aware of being carried out at the library was the ongoing process to convert it into an advice hub.

Council leader Cecil Meiklejohn said: “We just cannot take the decision to put it on pause. The decision has already been made by the council. This is the next phase in the council’s transformation – it is important it is followed through to allow us to deliver service changes and improvements.

“This is about front line service delivery and providing a much more modern and focused service.”