Council to press on with library axe

A YORKSHIRE council is to push ahead with plans to bulldoze a library to make way for shops.

Calderdale Council leaders say the proposals will create 230 jobs, generate over £7m for the Halifax economy and give the town a new £10m library by 2015.

They claim that an Ipsos MORI residents’ poll backs the plans to demolish the library in Northgate – but critics have questioned this conclusion. The results of a council questionnaire showed a majority favouring the restoration of the existing library.

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Council leader Tim Swift said: “Calderdale residents have told us that they want a better town centre and we are listening to their views very carefully. An improved, revitalised town centre with larger retailers would attract those who currently choose to shop elsewhere and would provide a huge boost to the local economy.”

John Hargreaves of Halifax Civic Trust said the Ipsos MORI poll “hardly provides a ringing endorsement for their proposals to re-locate the library and archive facilities.”

“In recommending demolition of the popular and conveniently located 29-year-old library they choose to ignore the IM report’s finding in the open consultation that a clear majority of respondents, including a high proportion of library users, preferred Option B expressing support for retention and refurbishment of the much-valued facilities on their popular and conveniently accessible site.”