Plane Tree Nest Lane,
The announcement in Tuesday’s ‘Courier’ (February 8), that the central library is not to be demolished, is good news.
However, Councillor Baines says that a ‘customer first base’ could be set up there, so he is thinking of reducing the area available for library services?
How far will this incursion go? Would we lose the children’s library, or something else?
He also says that we should look to relocating the Royal Mail sorting office. Surely this has already been looked at, according to published plans. Has Councillor Baines been living in another world, or is he at last acknowledging the fact that Calderdale do not own the Royal Mail site, so any plans for it are very speculative?
Removing this and the library from the development area leaves Northgate House.
The council’s officers have consistently refused over the last year or so to reveal in what way Northgate House falls short of current requirements. Perhaps they are still trying to think up ways to justify the £12-15 million said to be required for refurbishment - Councillor Horsfall wrote in the Courier last October “I understand from contractors that it would not cost half what they are talking of to refurbish Northgate House.” Hampshire County Council refurbished its 1960s headquarters building in Winchester 2 years ago, which resulted in reductions of 70 per cent in carbon emission levels, and has been part of a revolution in working practice for the county council and its staff. Why isn’t Calderdale thinking on the same lines?
It is time we were given the facts, but Councillor Collins says this can not be done until the legal position has been sorted out. After a year of sorting out, still no answer? Perhaps there are changes needed in our legal department.
There are certainly changes needed in our planning department. Alan Shaw