Election hopefuls put on the spot over Halifax library plan

Northgate, Halifax
Northgate, Halifax

election candidates are being asked to say where they stand over the controversial proposals to build a new library in Halifax.

The council is due to launch a third round of public consultation in June to try to resolve the issue.

But members of a campaign to retain the library and archives at Northgate want candidates to nail their colours to the mast before the elections on May 3.

“Voters have an opportunity to influence the make-up and policies of our council in these elections and we will all have our own particular reasons for supporting one candidate or another,” said Anne Kirker.

“For those for whom the final resting place of the library and archives could be a factor in how they vote, we have canvassed all 61 candidates.”

The results will be posted on the “Don’t Bulldoze Our Library” website: www.dbol.org.uk.

“Whether it was intended, the deferred consultation provides a handy smoke screen for candidates to avoid making any promises until they have seen the results - after the election.

“However, most of those sitting on the fence do state that they would support the demolition proposals only if a substantial majority did so in the consultation. We may have to remind them of that,” said Mrs Kirker.

The council agreed in December to close it’s administrative offices at Northgate House, to build a new library perhaps costing £8 million, at the bottom side of the Piece Hall and sell the whole Northgate site for retail use.

Anger over the proposals meant the library scheme being shelved.

An “independent organisation” will be brought in to run the next round of consultation which will look at the implications for improving the whole of Halifax town centre.

The council has promised that the consultation will be independent and impartial, with a final decision in September.