|Green Cllrs Derek Hardcastle and Robert Barraclough at Shepley Library|
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.