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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

A New Chapter for Droylsden Library

Friday, 17 September 2021

Before I begin, I want to take the opportunity to pay tribute to our Olympic and Paralympic athletes for their successes in Tokyo.

I want to highlight especially the medal triumphs of those who were either born in or live in Tameside. These included Droylsden triathlete and former Fairfield School and Ashton Sixth Form pupil Georgia Taylor-Brown, who finished with a silver medal in the women’s triathlon and a gold in the mixed triathlon relay. Paisley-born but Stalybridge-based cyclist Jack Carlin also won silver in the men’s team sprint alongside Ryan Owens and Jason Kenny, and then took bronze in the individual team sprint. In the Paralympic Games, Aileen McGlynn from Mossley won silver in the women's B 1,000-metre time trial with partner Helen Scott, recording a personal best of 1:06.734.

Despite enduring incredibly difficult circumstances as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, these men and women have nevertheless done our borough and our country proud. I offer them our heartfelt congratulations and wish them every success for the future. 

Today was a landmark occasion for Droylsden as Councillor Leanne Feeley, the Executive Member for Lifelong Learning, Equalities, Culture and Heritage, led the official opening of the town’s new library within Guardsman Tony Downes House.

 

The original Droylsden Library served its community faithfully for over 84 years. But in recent times, it has become clear that what we need and expect from our libraries in 2021 is not the same as it was in 1937. In particular, the T-shape and three-floor configuration made it incredibly difficult to access for prams and wheelchairs. In recognition of this fact, the new Droyslden Library incorporates a huge variety of new facilities and amenities, such as fully disabled access throughout, modern computers and printers, free Wi-Fi, a community room, children’s area and spaces for study and work. There’s also a designated area for teenagers, a wide selection of large-print and audio books, and forward-facing displays to make searching for and finding books easier.

With this new library, I’m confident that we’re providing the residents of Droylsden with a service fit for the 21st century. Because just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, the importance of libraries runs far deeper than the books they offer. As important as that service is, libraries are also a place to go for learning, for shared community spaces and activities. They are a place to go for advice, a place to go to better yourself personally and professionally, and even a place to go to improve your health. Libraries truly are one of the great levellers of our society. And a time where the spectres of economic inequality and political division have never loomed larger, we need them now more than ever.

As we gathered to celebrate the libraries opening, we also took the chance to briefly pay tribute to those who were unable to be with us. That included fallen local hero, Guardsman Tony Downes, for whom the building the library is now located in was named after in recognition of his service and sacrifice to his country. We also paused to remember Kieran Quinn, who led Tameside Council from 2010 until his tragic and untimely death in 2017.  It was his vision and ambition for Droylsden that led to the construction of Guardsman Tony Downes House, and the eventual relocation of the new library into it. It’s therefore only right that the community space in the new Droylsden Library will be named The Kieran Quinn Room, enshrining his memory within the very walls of the building itself.

 

As we begin to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, we must remember that significant challenges still remain. Our priority over the next year and beyond is to rebuild better, fairer and greener, while never losing sight of the importance of ensuring that high-quality public services remain available for all. Not only did we open a new library today, we also started to open up a new chapter for Droylsden and Tameside. I’m excited to find out where it will lead us.
 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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