When news happens, text BONEWS and your photos to 80360 or phone 01204 537274
Library sculpture centre ‘a total waste’
A COUNCILLOR has branded plans to create a sculpture centre at Bury Library “a total waste of money.”
At a heated full council meeting, Conservative Cllr James Daly said the move gave “no real benefit” to the residents of Bury.
He said: “It is my view spending £75,000 is a total and utter and complete waste of money.
“That money should be spent on maintaining the current floor space and facilities at the library.”
He spoke after Sue Smith, from the Friends of Bury Library campaign group, revealed that more than 1,000 people had signed a petition opposing the proposal.
She told councillors: “We are very concerned and angry about the plans.
“People are concerned about the loss of library space and community space and the £75,000 cost. People feel their views have been overlooked.”
But council leader, Labour Cllr Connolly, defended the decision.
He said: “I am aware of the petition and the strength of feeling. The sculpture gallery will form part of a very innovative and exciting cultural offering of this town. It’s very much needed.
“The creation of the sculpture centre and the reduction of the library are not linked.
“Other towns are closing libraries. Bury Council is not closing a single library.”
He added that the library’s floor space would be reduced by a half and not by two-thirds as some people had claimed.
“That is because of the severe financial cuts that we face. There will be no changes for any of the groups who use the library,” stated Cllr Connolly.
Answering a question from Cllr Daly about the projects “value for money”, the council’s leisure representative, Labour Cllr Jane Lewis told the meeting: “This is not just about establishing sculptures. This is a dynamic and culturally significant facility. It will create a visitors centre for the Irwell Sculpture Trail.
“We’ve explored all options for use of the space and the current proposal is the best one available.”
Comments are closed on this article.