A LAST minute bid to overturn Calderdale Council’s £9.2m new library plan was rejected.
Every councillor was asked to vote on major regeneration proposals at full council this week, which would see council workers leave Northgate in Halifax town centre, the central library close and relocate it nearer the Piece Hall.
The vacant sites would then be sold off for retail development.
The Conservative group had called for an amendment, urging the council to leave the central library in its current position and build a shopping centre on Northgate and over the bus station.
But just 17 councillors – the Conservatives and two Independents – voted in the amendment’s favour.
It meant the Cabinet’s sell-off proposals were backed, giving the final green light for the plans to begin.
During the tense meeting, which was watched by a packed public gallery, Brighouse’s Clr Colin Stout said: “Bigger isn’t always better. If you want to see a success come to Brighouse – small success, small business makes jobs.
“We had 20,000 people sign a petition in support of keeping the library where it is but we’re not listening to them.”
Council leader Clr Tim Swift admitted there was “a risk of displacement” of jobs, but added: “We are looking at major town centre regeneration, to the Piece Hall, with the library, the Broad Street (development project) is complete, and this is another advantage.”
The council predicts the retail development will bring 230 jobs and £7.4m to the economy.