Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Response to misleading article on Green Party efforts to save Shepley Library by Kirkburton Tory Councillor

Green Cllrs Derek Hardcastle and Robert Barraclough at Shepley Library
Recently, writing on the Shepley Village Website, Councillor Armer asks why have the Green Party not discussed the matter of our proposal to help save Shepley Library with him. Well we have specifically asked that he be a member of the Parish Councils Library Committee so he has a say on all proposals that come forward and all our proposals that affect the Parish Council go before the Council for debate and agreement. If Green Councillors have an initiative or a proposal we shouldn’t have to check with Cllr Armer before we go public with them. I’m sure that isn’t the way the other Parties operate and Cllr Armer could have approached his fellow ward Cllrs for information and offered support for their proposal. I think he is more concerned about the fact that we have come up with a proposal and he hasn’t.

We wholeheartedly agree that the campaign to save Shepley Library should be community lead. All we have done is remove an obstacle for them by proposing the Parish Council covers the gap in funding for the Libraries running costs for gas, electricity , cleaning etc. for a to be agreed set period of time. This is a vital first step in enabling them to establish their own Business Plan which will be needed if the building is to be successfully transferred from Kirklees Council to the community of Shepley.

Cllr Armer asks where these funds will come from and really he already knows the answer . It will be an integral part of the Parish Councils budget and that is the proposal we will be making at our November Council meeting. Shepley people pay their Parish precept along with their Council Tax and the Library is a top concern for people in the village so it makes sense for the Parish Council to support it and give some benefit back. The Village Association that is working to save the Library is aware and has been fully informed of our proposals throughout.

Cllr Armer says that I said the Parish Council should fund current staffing levels at the public meeting in Shepley of £50,000 increasing the Parish Precept by £45, in fact there were lots of suggestions at the meeting, but Green Party Cllrs have never proposed that as an option. At the meeting we were all informed by the library management that the current annual running costs of the building, less current income, are in the region of £5000. Our above proposal would amount to an annual cost of £5000/year or less to the Parish Council which we believe is good value to keep the library building open. Cllr Armer knows this as he was also at the meeting, but yet is determined to play his political hand again.

We are very disappointed by the criticism of the Green Party efforts to help save Shepley Library by Councillor Armer and sadly note where there is an absence of any initiative from him and his Party then he resorts again to criticise and knowingly mislead local people. We trust that when our proposals come before the Parish Council he will do the right thing and support them in the interests of Shepley Village and the future of its Library.

1 comment:

  1. I think it is a good idea that the Parish council help keep things like the library open. i have see the children use the library in Kirkburton and to see them reading books rather than playing digital gaming units, is a breath of fresh air.

    I think Cllr Armer once again misunderstands the feeling of the public, the same \way The government is doing as well. i would not mind paying more on my council tax if it was spent in the right place.

    As a Green Parish Councillor i don't always agree with Green Policies as\a rule, and i have backed Cllr Almer in the past when his suggestions make sense. on this occasion i back all the Green Councillors on this subject i also believe the independence and Lib Dems Cllrs also agree in princeable to save the library's

    This i believe is motivated by what is good for us all , rather than a political stance where one side is trying to gain points against others. .