A SENIOR government minister has praised plans which will see Brockworth's library run by members of the community.
On a visit to the village to give councillors and candidates her support ahead of local elections, Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone was given a tour of the revamped library, and told of plans to run the facility from the community.
She met candidates, parish councillors and staff at both the library and community centre, but also had a message for voters ahead of the elections on May 5.
She said: "The whole country recognises we have got to start living within our means.
"It's like if you earn £100 a week and spend £120, that is a deficit and you're never going to get clear unless you sort it out.
"When they come down to council level, then it is that local authority which is making a difference."
She was full of praise to public figures, who had put the bid to take on the doomed library together, and urged people to get out and vote on May 5 to play their part.
She said: "It's quite clear that the county council has made a decision that this library will go, and I think you've got to at some point take responsibility for the budgets you control.
"So whilst, yes of course, the coalition has made cuts across the country, how people influence them in their local area is down to their local authority."
She also said people power was the big difference.
She added: "What you've got here is the council saying they are going to close the libraries, and local councillors who are standing up and saying 'oh no you're not'.
"Where local parishes and people and organisations have the enthusiasm to do it, there can be no better way forward.
"Then it can become a thing which is not statutory, not just already there, but it's there because people want it and people are prepared to run it."
The minister, a Liberal Democrat, was also full of praise for residents.
"Brockworth has an energy and an enthusiasm which will be very powerful," she said.
"The library looks beautiful, because it was refurbished and it's going to become an even bigger heart to the community."