May 24 2010 by Nick McCarthy, Birmingham Mail
BIRMINGHAM City Council has closed one of its biggest libraries after asbestos was found during refurbishment works.
Sutton Coldfield Library, which is based in the Red Rose Centre and was built in 1974, has been closed “for the foreseeable future”.
The first floor music and lending library is currently being refurbished and modernised at a cost of around £239,000.
Sutton Coldfield’s Neighbourhood Office, which is based within the library building off Lower Parade has also been closed.
But officers are planning to provide a temporary neighbourhood office within the town centre.
Coun David Pears (Con, Trinity) said: “We have got to consider public safety, but we’ve also got to make sure we deliver a good service.
“I’m sure the councillors and officers are working hard to find a solution.”
A spokesman for the council said: “During refurbishment works it was discovered that some asbestos appears to have been disturbed and, as a result, Birmingham City Council closed the library and the neighbourhood office to conduct further tests.”
Library users can return books to any library in the city and can also go online to extend books’ return dates.
Libraries in Mere Green, Boldmere and Walmley are now open for one additional day per week on Wednesdays, with Walmley Library to also open on Thursday mornings.
Library or Neighbourhood Office users experiencing problems can call the Constituency Office on 0121 464 4592.
The discovery of asbestos inside Sutton Coldfield’s Wyndley Swimming baths closed the pool for nearly two years.
The asbestos was found inside the 1970 building during a six-month repair job in 2006.
It remained closed until December 2008 and the final repair bill rocketed from an initial £700,000 bill for roofing and windows to more than £3.5 million.