REPAIRS to Huddersfield's library and art gallery could cost only £1m, it was claimed today.
Labour politicians said it was just a fifth of the amount quoted by council leaders.
Clr Ken Smith, deputy leader of Kirklees Council's Labour group, said: "These figures give the lie to the Liberal Democrat claim that the building needs £5m repairs."
He accused the Lib-Dems of scaremongering tactics designed to "soften up" the public to losing the building.
Experts carrying out a detailed survey of the 1930s' building are expected to make their report in January.
It could herald a wholesale development of the Piazza area.
Clr Smith, quoting official figures given to councillors, said they showed the library needed £463,000 to make a new roof and £555,000 for roof and steel frame repairs.
Other works totalling £2.6m which were mentioned could be phased in later, he suggested.
The figures Clr Smith was given also add £500,000 for professional fees, a fund for unspecified contingencies and £400,000 for contractors' profits and costs.
Clr Smith said: "A lot of this looks suspiciously like `finger in the wind' estimates."
The Lib-Dems hit back today, accusing their opponents of a lack of imagination and failing to think ahead.
Clr John Smithson, the council's deputy leader, said he had never denied the figures were preliminary estimates.
He labelled Labour's suggestion of phased work as wrong.
"The work which is needed will be very disruptive to the library and if we do it in separate stages it will only extend that disruption and increase the costs," he said.
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