It is clear to most observers that the proposal to demolish the Central Library and move it to another location is deeply unpopular, and at least two tests of public opinion in the last few years have confirmed this.
However, the council appear determined to overrule the majority view and have commissioned Ipsos MORI to ask us yet again, do we want our library moved. I wish they had turned up outside the Library last Saturday when DBOL the Don’t Bulldoze our Library group were once again sounding out public opinion on the council proposals. People were overwhelmingly opposed and their opinions were clear. The Central Library was in the best location for users, it was perfectly placed near the bus station for the elderly, those with disabilities and people with children. It was not accepted that a library was a tourist attraction, a central library was for the use of local people. The Library was only thirty years old and it would be an outrageous waste of council tax payers’ money to knock it down.People did not like being taken for fools when suddenly they are told it would be cheaper to knock it down and build another. Why can’t the council have a rolling programme of repairs and refurbishment, when resources come available. They do it all the time with other properties. Let’s have a detailed look at this unbelievably expensive refurbishment programme. As for the vague references to ‘exciting retail developments’ sometime in the future when the site was ready for development, quite a number of people pointed to our neighbours in Bradford. They were given ‘vague promises of exciting retail developments’ and have lived with a huge unsightly hole in the ground for years. As for the Ipsos MORI poll, it is extremely biased towards the council’s view and does not give the option to refurbish the library and find other uses for Northgate House. The money spent on this poll might have been more usefully spent marketing the many empty shops and properties in Halifax.