Two items caught my attention in the paper last week. One refers to the ‘new library’ and the other the Shay.
Firstly the ‘new library’ to be built on ‘scrubland’. I presume the council owns the ‘scrubland’ and it makes you wonder why it hasn’t been tidied up before now to stop the ‘embarrassment to the town’ which has obviously upset chairman Mr Daniel Sutherland. Councillor Mr David Hardy is concerned that hand-made bricks are to be used in the making of a new entrance into the Piece Hall. Well it is a Grade 1 listed building, the only one of its kind in Britain, so surely English Heritage people will have something to say about breaking a new entrance into this important listed building before the discussion about what bricks should be used. The Piece Hall website says it is described ‘as one of Britain’s most outstanding Georgian buildings’ so I don’t think Marshallite bricks, good as they are, will do. After all as Mr Hardy enlighteningly says ‘A brick is a brick’ in these times of austerity. This new door seemingly, is to divert in-coming train travellers to the centre of the town, which will not please existing businesses up Horton Street, and weren’t there plans mooted for developing the Argos site at one time? Perhaps that was a grandiose plan too far. I cannot see too many ‘big stores-which the council seem keen on’ residing there if the customers are being diverted to the town centre. Unless they are moving the town centre again! Which brings me to the Shay. According to Mr Mark A J Whiley’s letter saying that ‘the council thought it was a good idea to spend £6million and are now quite happy to sell it for £1.5-£1.8 million’ it does make you wonder about the council’s fiscal abilities and their future ideas on planning for Halifax. A bit un-nerving wouldn’t you say? Lastly, I am still wondering who are the ‘big names- (shops)’ prepared to come to Halifax and when they are to be named; which seem to be causing all this expensive demolition and building work in this time of – that word again - austerity. After all it’s only the people’s money the council are spending wherever it comes from, donations, grants or taxes.