IN reply to the article from Cllr Nigel Patrick in your paper of Saturday March 28 blaming others for the closure of New Mill Library, I would like to simply point out the facts below, all of which can be verified by the council’s library service budget proposals from the library service were prepared for cabinet for the previous Conservative administration in early December 2008.
The same proposals for libraries went to the all-party budget briefing on January 8 and 9. Budget teams from each party were present at these meetings.
On the menu for discussion was the rationalisation of library provision and in discussion it was clearly pointed out that both New Mill and Kirkheaton libraries could close.
Officers reminded councillors that these were officer’s proposals and if they disagreed with any suggested service cut, they would have to make provision in their party’s budget amendment.
All political groups had to submit their amendments by February 18, which they did.
The Conservative and Green groups did not propose any amendments that would keep open either New Mill or Kirkheaton libraries, whereas the new cabinet’s amendment proposed the reinstatement of Kirkheaton Library at the cost of £30,000.
This amendment was approved which meant that the original officer proposal to close New Mill remained.
This was approved at full council on February 25. The amendments made by each party to the officers proposals are printed in the council budget meeting agenda of February 25 and can be viewed on line.
Had the Conservative group been prepared to put up the £41,000 to keep New Mill Library open, it would not be closing next month.
Kirklees Council Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure