We were duped, say library campaigners

Pic's 1,2. Halifax town pictures for studio. Pic's 3,4. Northgate House, Halifax. Pic's 5,6. Central Library, Halifax. Pic's 7,8. Taxi driver, Mr Arshid Ahmed. Pic's 9,10. Taxis at the rank in George Square. -wtown1-9is-
Pic's 1,2. Halifax town pictures for studio. Pic's 3,4. Northgate House, Halifax. Pic's 5,6. Central Library, Halifax. Pic's 7,8. Taxi driver, Mr Arshid Ahmed. Pic's 9,10. Taxis at the rank in George Square. -wtown1-9is-
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CAMPAIGNERS battling for a say over the latest plan to move Halifax Central Library say they have been misled by the council.

Despite voting overwhelmingly to carry out “detailed consultation” the council’s latest survey only asks what the library should contain – not whether it should be moved to the Piece Hall.

More than 15,000 people signed a petition in 2009 demanding the library remain at Northgate and virtually all the 1,300 who responded to a council questionnaire said it should stay put.

People have until March 12 to respond to the latest survey, which also asks how often people use it.

Anne Kirker coordinator of the “save the library” campaign said a truly independent survey should be carried out if the council was to retain any credibility.

She said: “A new library on the Square Spire site is taken as read and the questionnaire addresses only what is to follow.

“There is no consultation about whether there is any case to demolish the existing library and archives. It appears we, and the councillors who dropped their opposition to the original motion, have been duped.”

The group has written to council chief executive Owen Williams and leading councillors to complain about the failure to disclose key information about what is wrong with the existing library.

Councillors say restoring the 30-year-old building would cost between £4 million and £8 million.

And they want to build a replacement at the bottom side of the Piece Hall to bolster efforts to attract grants to regenerate that building.

At the council meeting a fortnight ago, Conservative’s pressed for “full, robust, open and transparent” consultation and backed the “detailed consultation” promised by Lib-Dem and Labour councillors.