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Protests continue over Decision to Bulldoze Central Library

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Over the past few years, the HebWeb has followed the campaigns to stop the demolition of Halifax Central Library, which is used by many people who lives in our area.

Save our Services

The Don’t Bulldoze OUR Library Campaign (DBOL) have made a formal complaint to the Chief Executive of Calderdale MBC over the Council’s decision on 28 November 2012 to proceed with plans to demolish and relocate the Calderdale Central Library and Archive. The complaint asserts that the briefing report presented by Cabinet to the Council was seriously flawed in three main areas.

First, the conclusions drawn by the Cabinet from the Ipsos MORI Consultation are not supported by a consideration of the full report, and rely on a partial assessment of the data. The Cabinet’s claim that the consultation gives them a mandate to proceed with their plans is without foundation.

Second, the Cabinet’s assumptions about what should be required in the new facilities derive simply from matching facilities to the small space available between the Square Church Spire, the Piece Hall, the Piece Hall Extension, the Industrial Museum and Square Road. This results in services having to be fragmented, on different sites, rather than centralised as now.

Third, there are serious flaws and omissions in the financial estimates tabled in the report, which make the option of refurbishing the present CL&A seem implausibly expensive when compared with the cost of building new facilities.

The Coordinator for DBOL, Anne Kirker, said, “We are asking the Chief Executive to exercise her powers to review this decision to ensure that information presented to Councillors is balanced, accurate and complete. Many people find it incredible that building a new Library is no more expensive than refurbishing the old one. Our analysis of the Cabinet’s report exposes the serious flaws in it”

In the meantime, a letter has been sent to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, asking him to intervene in this matter. John Hargreaves, Chairman of Halifax Civic Trust (HCT), and DBOL member, said, “This decision is crucial to the future of Halifax Town Centre and to opportunities for lifelong learning for the whole community. It is vital that such decisions are based on a careful assessment of all the relevant evidence, including financial implications, operational efficiencies, as well as public opinion. I’m sure that members of DBOL and HCT will be raising these questions at the next meeting of the Halifax Town Team on 20 February.”

Copies of the DBOL submissions can be found on the DBOL Website at www.dbol.org.

See also

Hebweb Forum - Halifax Central Library (Aug-Nov 2012)

Hebweb Forum - Central Library Consultation Con! (Jan 2012)

Hebweb Forum - Central Library/Northgate House (Nov-Dec 2011)

HebWeb News - Council Releases Information on New Central Library (5 Dec 2011)

Calderdale website: Detailed information on the condition of both Northgate House and the Central Library and Archive buildings can be downloaded

HebWeb News - Central Library threat (22 Nov 2011)

HebWeb News - Don't Bulldoze Central Library Jan 2011

Hebweb Forum - Halifax Town Centre Regeneration (Feb 2011)

John Hargreaves' presentation on behalf of of the Halifax Civic Trust and Halifax Antiquarian Society (Jan 2011)

HebWeb News 2009 - Calderdale Central Library and Archive

Hebweb Forum - Demolition of Central Library and Archives building in Halifax (March-April 2009)

Don't Bulldoze our Library