Wed, 16th Apr 2014

Tell the truth on library

1:33pm Friday 23rd August 2013

WHILE many councils across the UK are facing huge financial cuts, I was surprised that Haverfordwest’s library was to be upgraded. No shortage of money yet in Wales and Pembrokeshire, I thought to myself!

The library moved out of its site a few months ago to temporary accommodation and now we are told that the council is looking for a town centre location as Cllr Morse advises”... tender prices were well over the approved budget”.

Surely the tenders would have been in place BEFORE the library move took place?

So what on earth is going on at County Hall? Everything seems to be going wrong.

With cuts to come, possibly on a much higher scale than our councillors seem to contemplate, maybe the ideal place would be to locate the library within County Hall itself as they have done with the Trowbridge library in my old home county of Wiltshire. Plenty of parking there as well!

It’s weird how Haverfordwest has been hit with this bombshell when many are on holiday, and yet the Dew Street library closed back in January, some seven months ago.

Surely the people of Pembrokeshire and Haverfordwest (in particular), deserve a better explanation.

What is going on? Can we please have the full truth why we are now told tender prices were way over budget?

And how about relocating the library into County Hall?

ANDREW C LYE

Woodlands View

Johnston

 

and find it a decent site

 

THE county library used to be in Dew Street, Haverfordwest.

The library service was transferred to the ‘Former Youth Club’, off Dew Street, Haverfordwest SA61 1ST, just in time for Christmas last year. The council’s website anticipates ‘major building work’ which will result in ‘a more modern building that will be easier to access and use’.

Now we read in the press that the prospect of major building work may have entered the public domain somewhat prematurely, and that, far from resulting in ‘a more modern building that will be easier to access and use’, it may have become an undignified scramble trying to find a suitable site for the library.

A possible relocation to the town centre has been mooted.

The question is, where is the town centre now? The answer might be anywhere where there is a space large enough to accommodate a 21st-century library. Remembering that it is to be ‘easier to access and use’ perhaps the preferred site will be on a level site near an existing car park.

One can imagine that at this point, everyone and his dog will be thinking of the ideal site and suggestions will be coming in thick and fast. It is to be hoped that planning might play some part in this; ‘regeneration strategy’ is a new term to me, but I am sure it is familiar enough to many.

If the selection of the new library site is to play any part in ‘regeneration’ then it is my view that it should be on the west bank of the River Cleddau on or near High Street. If the council is considering purchasing a site, then it should be accessible from the castle lake car park, developing footfall around the old part of town.

Such a site does exist, with a pedestrian link to both the castle and the museum.

In the meantime, assuming this whole business is not just a means of disposing of an unwanted piece of real estate, perhaps the county council should move back into the building which was, until recently, suitable for use as a library, and then take the time to find out what the electorate believe is the correct move.

ROBIN SHELDRAKE

Chairman of Haverfordwest Civic Society

Clarbeston Road

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