Library “re-shape” is morally wrong- Hawarden councillor blasts council chiefs.
A Flintshire county councillor has branded plans by his own council to ‘re-shape’ library services which could see Hawarden library shut down as “morally wrong”
The ‘re-shape’ proposals aimed at modernising the cash strapped council’s libraries include plans to open more Flintshire Connects facilities at the sacrifice of smaller ‘outdated and under used buildings’
Councillor Carver attended a private meeting last week where council chiefs told him Hawarden library, which is situated next door to Flintshire records office, is earmarked for closure unless it can be handed over to another organisation to run.
Flintshire County Council are looking to transfer many assets off their books and Hawarden Community Council have been offered a 27 year lease on the library as well as Mancot library, and some children’s play areas which are currently owned and maintained by the County Council have also been offered the community council.
A new library would be created in Deeside leisure centre to replace Hawarden, Mancot and Queensferry’s.
Mr Carver said:
“Obviously I am not happy about this proposal. Hawarden Library is an essential and well used facility within the village. It is morally wrong to deprive residents from obtaining books and other items on loan from a local library as well as computer access and help. In past history, books have been removed or burnt before; closing down a library is really just as bad”
With the possibility of the library closing Cllr Carver fears Flintshire Records Office could also leave Hawarden, he says:
“Reading between the lines I now have concerns regarding any future proposal to relocate the Flintshire Record Office which is within the same building as the library. This would have implications for the whole site including the car park”
The councillor is frustrated with Flintshire County Council’s apparent lack of recognition for Hawarden saying:
“I am disappointed that Flintshire County Council does not acknowledge that Hawarden Community Council is the third largest in Flintshire. In a number or recent issues, the County Council gives precedence to what they call the five principle town councils. Thus, last autumn Flintshire County Council presented First World War commemorative benches to be placed adjacent to war memorials, they donated them to Connah’s Quay Town Council, Buckley Town Council, Flint Town Council, Holywell Town Council and Mold Town Council.
Flintshire County Council conveniently forgets that since Hawarden Community Council is the third largest of the thirty-four Town and Community Councils in Flintshire; as a Community Council we pay a much higher total Council Tax to Flintshire than some Town Councils and any other Community Council.”
Mr Carver has urged Hawarden residents to get involved in the Hawarden library consultation process once launched.
A report on the proposals will be considered by the Council’s Cabinet on tomorrow, Tuesday 17 March, some residents have taken to social media vowing to attend the meeting as a show of support for the library and its staff.
Following a consultation period on the Deeside Leisure Centre library proposal there will be a further report to a Scrutiny Committee in April with a further report to Cabinet in May.
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