Derbyshire County Council Labour Group Leader Anne Western has made a pledge to the people of Glossopdale that if elected, Derbyshire Labour will consult on the best ways to sustain library provision in the Victoria Hall and make best use of the “campus of buildings” that cluster around the library.
She has also given an assurance that the £2,000,000 which Labour set aside more than five years ago, will still be available for a fully-costed value for money project that will enhance both library and adult education provision.
“The absence of consultation by the present Conservative County Council leadership on this project so far has been outrageous. There appears to be no local support for their latest proposal, no serious attempts to identify a new venue for social services staff and no serious intention to listen to SOUL and other organisations about their vision for future use.”
Councillor Western revealed that she had been kept appraised of local feelings by the two Labour County Council candidates for Glossopdale, Maggie Mooney and Damien Greenhalgh.
“They tell me that in conversation, and whilst knocking on doors from Simmondley to Old Glossop, they have heard no positive comments from anyone about the proposal to abandon the Victoria Hall as the community’s library.”
ledged that Local Councillors have to make difficult choices, particularly in today’s financial climate.
“But to completely ignore the SOUL’s petition of a thousand plus signatures and not even consult on the new proposal is totally unacceptable.”
Councillor Western said that a public consultation would be conducted in conjunction with High Peak Borough Council, who will also be expected to contribute to the strategy and funding of improvements.
“In these hard times, and until we have examined County Council finances in detail, there are very few commitments that we can make. But Glossop library is an exception as the money has been sitting around for the last four years. It may buy less than it would have done four years ago, but in my view it remains ear-marked.”
Maggie Mooney confirmed that she was pleased with the assurances she had been given.
Damien Greenhalgh said that he had still to hear any voices supporting the abandonment of the Victoria Hall, the demolition of the old St. Luke’s building and the construction of a library that appeared out of keeping with the surrounding properties.