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."