So Calderdale Council, oblivious to the inexorable changes in patterns of shopping and retail and the impact the recession has had on central government’s contribution to the funds it relies on for vital service provision, expects us all to be impressed with its spanking new plans for a spanking new library down by the Piece Hall.
This is a library that the vast majority of Halifax people, as four years of determined campaigning have made abundantly clear, neither want nor need. Because they are perfectly happy with their ideally located, purpose-built, 30 year old library which they naturally expect their council to maintain responsibly. Well, I for one am not at all impressed with these plans. I’m not impressed with councillors who ignore the views of the people they are elected to represent, or who deviously weight and manipulate consultation results that they tell them things they don’t want to know. I’m not impressed with their obsession for vanity projects that hike up parking charges and suck funds away from groups and programmes working for the young, elderly and disabled. I’m not impressed by their priorities and the way they waste the council taxes we pay. The last thing we need is a new library when we already have one that meets all our needs. Those millions of pounds could be spent so very much better elsewhere especially when, as we now hear, certain community centres in Calderdale like the one in Sowerby Bridge may face closure because so many of the groups using them, starved of funding, can no longer afford the hiring costs.