LETTERS - Library missed the boat

WAKEFIELD Council says it wants to establish what, if any, level of interest there is from individuals, groups or organisations towards the running of the library service.

This is a sensible move in these difficult financial times, where hard decisions have to be made about competing priorities.

What I can’t get my head round, however, is why community groups were not allowed the opportunity to take over, or contribute towards, the running of the late lamented Flanshaw Library, which was shut with indecent haste last December.

Perhaps someone from the council could let us know.

The reason given at that time was its poor state of repair. Yet the council rejected out of hand the very generous offer from a local businessman to carry out the necessary repairs free of charge in order to keep the library open and also to carry out regular maintenance.

Re-reading the cuttings from that time, the council were clearly aware of the strength of community support but there was no consultation. As people said at the time, it was a done deal and the views of library users were simply ignored. What’s being said now only reinforces that view.

Sadly, the building has now been demolished. The derelict site bears testimony to a council that did not want to listen to what local people had to offer, but which now proposes community involvement as the way forward.

Where was the strategic vision back then?

Good luck to other community groups towards saving their local libraries. Pity it came too late for Flanshaw.

Pete Bancroft

The Mount, Thornes