DON'T BULLDOZE CENTRAL LIBRARY
Monday, 24 January 2011
The Don't Bulldoze Our Library campaign has been resurrected following further threats to Central Library and archive from Calderdale Council. The group have sent the HebWeb the following information.
Following a Calderdale Council resolution of July 2008 it became clear that the local authority intended to demolish its buildings on the Northgate site, including Calderdale Central Library and Archives. In March 2009, a non-party political campaign was launched for the retention of this building under the acronym DBOL (Don't Bulldoze Our Library). This campaign was supported by a broad cross section of the community, including over 16,000 local residents, library and archive users, members of local voluntary organisations, former Calderdale MBC senior officers and the MP for Halifax, who presented petitions to both Downing Street and Parliament.
2009 Council Public Consultation
As a result of this campaign Calderdale Council launched a public consultation exercise. 95% of respondents to this consultation voted for retention of the combined Library, Archive and Meeting Room facilities, rejecting other options which involved separating the Library and Archive facilities or reconstituting them on the Northgate site. Consequently Calderdale Council resolved unanimously to retain the facilities on the existing site.
More Recent Events
Dr John Hargreaves of the Halifax Civic Trust and Halifax Antiquarian Society was invited to present the case for the retention of Calderdale Central Library on the Northgate site at a Halifax Urban Renaissance Town Team meeting on 13 January 2011. His presentation was well received and enthusiastically applauded, and it was evident in the feedback from the ensuing group discussions that the vast majority of those present favoured the retention of the combined facilities of the Library, Archives and meeting rooms on the existing site. At that meeting it became clear that the Library debate had re-opened and that the 2009 campaign would have to be renewed. The brevity and generality of the report that appeared in the Halifax Courier was immediately challenged by a correspondent who commented on its failure to make any reference to the strength of support for retention of the Library, which was evident at the packed meeting.
Why Calderdale Central Library Is Important
Given that this issue was discussed and debated exhaustively over several months so recently, members of the general public will be shocked to learn that the Council appears to have re-opened this issue. Calderdale Central Library and Archives is important not only for Halifax but for the whole of Calderdale. It houses a Lending Library, Reference Library, Children's Library, outstanding Local History facilities and an extensive National Archives approved, state-of-the-art archives repository.
What You Can Do
It is as yet unclear what proposals will emerge for the Northgate site, but it is possible that vital decisions could be taken imminently. If you share our concern about the future of the Calderdale Central Library, there are things you can do to ensure that your views are taken into account. You could write to the following people, stating that you are opposed to the demolition of the Library:
Chief Executive, Calderdale Council, Town Hall, Halifax
Leader, Calderdale Council, Town Hall, Halifax
Your Ward Councillors
You could also send your views to the Halifax Courier, including its web commentary, Hebden Bridge Times, or Todmorden Advertiser, or comment on the HebWeb Forum
Hebweb Forum - Halifax Town Centre Regeneration (Feb 2011)
John Hargreaves' presentation on behalf of of the Halifax Civic Trust and Halifax Antiquarian Society (Jan 2011)
HebWeb News 2009 - Calderdale Central Library and Archive
Hebweb Forum - Demolition of Central Library and Archives building in Halifax (March-April 2009)