THE Save Atherton Library Group have been campaigning to retain the Library in its present home in York Street ever since our local Labour Councillors including Karen Aldred supported the Wigan Council proposal that it should be downgraded and relocated to the ill fated 14 to 19 year olds centre.
Since then the only viable option to retain the Library in the York Street Buildings, and the Town Hall was proposed by the Atherton Consortium to transform the buildings into a much needed skills centre, at a faction of the cost of the 14 to 19 year olds centre, in fact at no cost to the Council because it would have given them a rental income for the buildings.
The other option was to transfer the buildings to the Community in a Community Asset Transfer deal as part of the Atherton Consortium bid.
All the work done by the Atherton Consortium which included the save Atherton Library Group, Fix it UK, the Harmony Youth Project, Atherton Community School, and Sophie’s Superstars to achieve this aim was completely dismissed by the Labour Cabinet, who said that they were not in a position to consider the proposals from Atherton and blamed it on Government cuts.
How can Government cuts affect a proposal which had no cost implication to the Council other than their wish to sell the Town Hall and old Technical College Building for housing, then pocket the estimated receipts of £1 million to spend on refurbishing Wigan Town Hall?
So much for democracy.
Coun Karen Aldred claims that getting dementia advice sessions in the Library, and holding the odd hour long surgeries in the Atherton Centre will save it, sorry Karen get into the real world where money talks.
Your colleagues on the Cabinet refused to accept the proposals from the Atherton Consortium which would have benefited the whole community, so I’m sure your proposals won’t save our Library.
Coun Norman Bradbury