Angry residents blast controversial sculpture centre plan again

Bury Central Library

Bury Central Library

First published in News Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A CONTROVERSIAL move to install a sculpture centre at Bury Library has come under fire again.

The sculpture centre is set to open in May and Tony Trehy, Bury Council’s arts and museums manager, believes it would make Bury “the envy of the artistic world”.

The installation is being built on the ground floor of the building in Manchester Road, reducing some of the library space.

Angry library users signed a petition, gathering almost 3,000 signatures in February, calling on the council to reverse the decision.

At Bury Council’s full meeting last Wednesday council leaders were quizzed further by members of the public.

Robert Abrahamsen asked how the council could “legitimately justify” a loss of about 60 per cent of floor space after a survey regarding changes to the library did not mention this specifically.

Council leader Cllr Mike Connolly responded: “The review of the library service always made it clear that it would consider the potential for co-location of services.

“During the public consultation there was a very strong public preference for co-located services rather than the reduction of both hours and services.

“Even with the reduction of floor space at Bury, all library services have been retained which in a position of having to cut more than £800,000 from the service is a major achievement.”

The sculpture centre requires a one-off capital investment of £75,000 from the council to cover the cost of adaptations to the building, and has received a £27,000 grant from Arts Council England.

John Connolly asked: “Why does the council think the new Sculpture Centre should have 60 per cent of the library floor space bearing in mind there are 25,837 members of the centre library?”

Cllr Connolly said the library service review was based on the intention to retain all 17 libraries and not to reduce opening hours — and that this had been achieved.

Comments (3)

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3:58pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Yellow Hackle says...

£75,000 Down the drain!! we can not afford to pay this amount when other services are being cut, Its a DIABOLICAL OUTRAGE and more so an insult to the people of Bury to Bully & push through a scheme that only a couple of council members are interested in for their own self esteem. For Example the choices Group (Mental Health ) the building was closed down so the council could sell it because of cuts and, told the users of Choices a load of rubbish to keep them quiet, scattered the group all over the borough in unsuitable buildings. Then they have the dammed cheek to spend £75,000 on a new Sculpture Centre that is going to lose us Money. Time Bury Metro got its priority's right!!!!
£75,000 Down the drain!! we can not afford to pay this amount when other services are being cut, Its a DIABOLICAL OUTRAGE and more so an insult to the people of Bury to Bully & push through a scheme that only a couple of council members are interested in for their own self esteem. For Example the choices Group (Mental Health ) the building was closed down so the council could sell it because of cuts and, told the users of Choices a load of rubbish to keep them quiet, scattered the group all over the borough in unsuitable buildings. Then they have the dammed cheek to spend £75,000 on a new Sculpture Centre that is going to lose us Money. Time Bury Metro got its priority's right!!!! Yellow Hackle
  • Score: 9

5:03pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Crispy69 says...

This is an utterly ridiculous idea of the few councillors that want it!! It is NOT needed, what is needed is somebody who actually has half a brain to realise what a waist of time and money this lunatic idea is and stop it in it's tracks or is this a case of "not losing face".
This is an utterly ridiculous idea of the few councillors that want it!! It is NOT needed, what is needed is somebody who actually has half a brain to realise what a waist of time and money this lunatic idea is and stop it in it's tracks or is this a case of "not losing face". Crispy69
  • Score: 9

9:05pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Babbar Divino says...

I think it's too late to reverse the decision now Crispy69. Contractors have been engaged and work commenced.I suppose there's nothing for it but to sit back and wait for Bury to be placed on the world sculpture circuit and all those international conferences to roll in, although I'm still scratching my head trying to think they will be hosted. Rammy Civic hall is not a bad spot and they will get a pie and a pint at the Grants?
I think it's too late to reverse the decision now Crispy69. Contractors have been engaged and work commenced.I suppose there's nothing for it but to sit back and wait for Bury to be placed on the world sculpture circuit and all those international conferences to roll in, although I'm still scratching my head trying to think they will be hosted. Rammy Civic hall is not a bad spot and they will get a pie and a pint at the Grants? Babbar Divino
  • Score: 5

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