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'Foolish' To Ignore Views, Say Campaigners

Monday December 2 2013




CAMPAIGNERS have warned the council it would be 'foolish' to ignore the views of more than 1,000 people who voted against the demolition of Barnsley Central Library.

It comes after votes from the 'People's Alternative Library Referendum' held by Save Our Library campaigners were counted and only 14 of the 1,151 votes casted wanted to see it flattened.

They used a sealed ballot box for people to vote 'yes' or 'no' to the proposed demolition of the Shambles Street building early next year to make way for a new £17million sixth form college.

Campaigner Dave Gibson said the idea behind the referendum was to give people the chance to answer a question the council's library consultation doesn't - a simple yes/no answer if they'd like to see the building demolished.

He said: "It's all library users that have voted and that's why we did it outside the library for people coming in and out and to get the opinion of those who use it.

"At last Thursday's consultation meeting, Steve Houghton was at great pains to say this isn't a referendum and just because it might yield a big majority against the demolition doesn't mean the council will change course.

"But he did say he would listen, very carefully, to what people are saying and I think 1,137 saying no to the demolition is quite outstanding.

"That's as well as a petition which has 6,000 signatures on it in just three weeks.

"The council would be very foolish to ignore it."

When asked about the council's plans announced last week about a new state-of-the-art library in the town centre with work starting in 2015, Dave wasn't convinced.

"I think there's a contradiction between the word 'pledge' and 'could be' because he was saying there's no guarantee they're going to get the money or that there will be a new library in 2015.

"I think the simplest and best thing is to keep the library in place and when the money is there, build a new library.

"We suggested the rest of the site on Shambles Street is big enough for a new sixth form and the library.

"If they thought about it flexibly they could do both and get their new gateway into the town and the library stays and everybody is happy. I do hope they will listen.

"I think if they ignore this it's at their peril because people are speaking very decisively and this is something any politician worth their salt should be looking at - the feelings expressed by the people and listening to them."

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23 Showing 23 comments

Reply Posted by Tony on Monday December 2 2013 at 17:37
How much is it going to cost us for something that we already have?

Reply Posted by too far to walk on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 12:56
Lots of memories in this library when I was a kid and an adult doing my drink driving rehabilitation course. Knock it down it needs to be more central in town it's too far up there.

Reply Posted by bill on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 12:56
Probably less than half the cost of redeveloping the whole area which on shambles street which is what the college will do for free. No alternatives have been offered on the future for this site. So people that want to see the town progress are stuck with that whole area looking like a complete dive. As for the 6,000 signatures,
So shortsighted.

Not one of the campaigners is thinking of the future of Barnsley.

Dave Gibson needs to get a hobby. I wasn't consulted or asked about his made up referendum, I work in town and want to see it moving forward and develop in anyway possible. I'm not the only one with this view either, friends, and family (some that actually use the library) share this opinion/

Reply Posted by NF on Wednesday December 4 2013 at 11:02
You are completley correct Bill. Shouldn't always listen to the noisey ones, better listening to the sensible ones. People will complain about anything. New library would probably be better accesible anyway - Shambles street is a gateway to the new (nice looking) central area and it simply looks awful, giving completley the wrong impression. All for progress, so far so good.

Reply Posted by Em on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 13:09
I signed the petition outside the town hall and I must admit I felt a little intimidated in to signing it, I was going to the town hall and had to wade through a group of protesters bombarding me with questions, so maybe not all the signatures are how people genuinely feel.

Reply Posted by Scott on Wednesday December 4 2013 at 11:04
I bet over two thirds of the signatures are people who 'just signed it'. Bill's comment earlier hit the nail on the head. I bet most of us are happy with the move and redevelopment. New library provision would probably be better anyway.

Reply Posted by southern boy on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 13:20
6000 signatures out of the total that live in the borugh of Barnsley is a minority. I always took my children to the library on a Saturday morning but it is about time Shambles area needs sorting and getting rid of the old shops and library is a good start. Hopefully it will get the Town Centre regeneration kick started with the addition of a library to the new market, cinema and shops

Reply Posted by jister on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 13:21
Just over 7000 want it saving its not an old iconic building & Dave Gibson as always campaigned against everything

Reply Posted by matty on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 13:53
Dave gibson Campaigned against the wheel and fire when they were discovered.

Reply Posted by Cher on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 14:08
These fools need to get a grip! Barnsley needs to modernise and our students need a new place to learn. Guarantee a newer library would be better anyway!
I hope it goes ahead and if they don't shift, then oh well.....

Reply Posted by Crazy Dave on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 15:54
Knock it darn its a r8 eyesore anyway.

Reply Posted by Ged on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 21:06
I completed the 'consultation' questionnaire - what a waste of time.

If, as the council website states "... a more suitable longer term location is being considered ..." then it is already accepted that the 'cultural centre' of Barnsley that is Wellington St is not a suitable location. So why there?

Much as I agree that the Eastgate site is inadequate, I don't agree that the 6th form centre should be built at the expense of the library. A Library like a college is part of the town, they ought to be centre stage.

Come on planners, look for the win-win. If you're looking to save money on the library then come out and say so. Dumping it in Wellington St may suit the needs of the council and college, but will the loser be Barnsley?

Reply Posted by rainbow on Wednesday December 4 2013 at 09:21
Don't realy see the problem, there's enough land on Shambles Street to build a new sixth form college and a new library alongside, the two would go very well together and keeps everyone happy..

Reply Posted by sign it or else on Wednesday December 4 2013 at 11:06
That is what they are suggesting anyway I think - the petition isn't whether there is library or not it is that the library remains in the building as is. busy bodies

Reply Posted by Ray on Thursday December 5 2013 at 09:20
They don't want that, they want to keep it exactly as it is. a 1960s/70s prefab building with poor insulation and lighting on the end of a row of derelict shops.
I've asked before on these forums and they are just not interested. The buzz line is "purpose built library" As if the council are going to relocate to a swimming pool

Reply Posted by Mystery on Wednesday December 4 2013 at 19:19
I don't get it at all. They aren't closing the library. They are moving it temporarily to a location that's not at the top of the steepest hill in Barnsley and it will ultimately be replaced with a 2000's fit for purpose library also somewhere in the town centre. On top of this the youth of Barnsley get a new place to learn skills. They are, after all, the future of this town. Those whinging and whining are bored old farts like Gibbo. If his wife asked him to wash up he'd start a campaign to make her do it herself

Reply Posted by Andrew Foers on Sunday December 8 2013 at 09:16
I think its about time that the council ought to remember that they are only an elected body and the people of barnsley need to stand up and say no to this new hair brained idea and if we are not listened to then we should declare a no confidence vote with them and insist on the whole body stepping down after all we still live in a democracy and the people say no to this new hair brained idea , and they could build the new college on the site without nockin down the library just build round it fools

Reply Posted by TheWomble on Sunday December 8 2013 at 09:22
The educated idiots in the Town Hall need to start and listen to the VERY people who elect them and pay the wages. They only seem to listen when it comes to voting day and then, after election, they go back to the same old ways. Mr Houghton, you are at the helm but you need to LISTEN TO THE PUBLIC on this issue!

Reply Posted by FROWN on Sunday December 8 2013 at 09:25
I'll be gibbson protested the demolision of Tythe Barn, when the current library was built.

Reply Posted by ☠☠☠☠☠ on Sunday December 8 2013 at 09:35
I'm a regular library user and do so a few times a week. I've been bombarded by people urging me to sign the peitition, and I say no.
I'm not against the demolition and definitely encourage a new sixth form to be built on Shambles Street. Thousands of barnsley kids are now legally required to be in education until 18 years of age and they currently do not have the facilties or location for that. Shambles Street is an ideal choice. On the opposite side of the street it would encourage new businesses to open - okay, maybe it would be cafes or sandwiches shops but they essential businesses that need supporting.

I do protest the fact that this plan has been in place and has been discussed in the council and college as long as a year ago, and the current consulation is not a real one per say.
I don't think Wellington House is the best temporary location, - Civic would have been better but I'm happy to have the library demolished, relocated and eagerly await the new state of the art library in a few years time, so that a sixth form can be built.

People are eager to protest anything, without thinking of progression and the town's future - not just their own. Think about what we could be instead of what we aren't.

Reply Posted by Jim G on Sunday December 8 2013 at 09:56
The library is a decrepit old relic these days. It represents the past and makes the town look so old.

It would be interesting to see how many people who have signed the petition a call use the library.

The place I imagine holds some nostalgic value for anyone growing up in this town, but nostalgia alone is not a reason to stick your head in the sand and resist change. It's such a good piece of land and it would be only fitting that it was used to its potential.

Reply Posted by lee on Sunday December 8 2013 at 13:56
What's up with the shops that are close and others what are not i use? i agree that there is plenty of space plus the libray !!

Reply Posted by the womble on Sunday December 8 2013 at 17:19
The womble you don't represent me or my views I do not support the protest and welcome a new library and I am part ofbthe public