In just two hours, nearly 1,300 people signed a petition aimed at persuading Calderdale Council to retain Halifax Central Library and Archives.
One of the organisers of the “Don’t Bulldoze Our Library” campaign, David Glover, said they were delighted with the response on Saturday morning. “It just goes to show the strength of feeling over this issue.
“We could spend weeks collecting thousands more names, as we have done in the past, but we believe the point has been made and we would expect the council to take notice of that,” he said.
Halifax Labour MP Linda Riordan and Halifax Civic Trust want to see the library and archive at Northgate retained, rather than a new one being built at the bottom site of the Piece Hall.
A previous petition attraced more than 16,000 signatures, said trust chairman Dr John Hargreaves.
“Demolishing a spacious, well-used and conveniently located building popular with a wide cross-section of the community ranging from young mums with children to older people with limited mobility is profoundly ill-conceived,” he said.
In a bid to gauge a Calderdale-wide response to its plans for a new library, the council has engaged Ipsos Mori to send questionnares to 5,000 households at random and make hard copies available.
People are being asked to recognise how demolishing the library and Northgate House to make way for new shops will benefit the town as a whole.
The council says it is going the extra mile to make sure people know about the re-launch of the consultation and how to get copies of the questionnaire. It has put up posters in council offices and libraries throughout Calderdale with details of how to access the questionnaire online and where to pick up a copy, including Halifax Town Hall, Northgate House and at the Central Library itself. All background documents are available to study at the Central Library and are on the council’s website. The consultation runs until September 30 and the results are expected to be published in November, when the council hopes to reach a decision on its plans for the town centre and the library.
*Calderdale Council has confirmed that the true cost of the Ipsos Mori survey will be £57,660 not £48,050. The figure given last week excluded VAT.