Letter: Closing libraries would be a huge error

UNDER THREAT Batley Library.
UNDER THREAT Batley Library.

This is the most important battle this area has had for a long time.

Since the May Kirklees council elections we have had numerous ideas put forward by the council, none of which were we told about at or before the election. I would love to know if that is legal. We have not had an area committee meeting either to vent our point of view, indeed we have been told that we are being merged and the chairs we receive extra payment.

The proposal to close all but two libraries in Kirklees is 100 per cent wrong, but we do not seem to be able to have our democratic say on this.

Closing Batley Library and Art Gallery would be catastrophic for Batley but also for the art students.

Closing Cleckheaton Library is another huge error, but this would be compounded if it was moved to the town hall. What would happen to all the events at Cleckheaton’s town hall, would we lose them? What would happen to the Cleckheaton Folk Festival, is that to end due to incompetence of our councillors? Heckmondwike Players perform events there would this see the end for them, with community things such as the pantomime?

There are groups that meet and do a lot of work keeping the more senior members of our community healthy with old time dancing, do we just tell them to stop with all the negative health issues that would bring. What then when the Ttwn hall library fails, do we sell the town hall to developers?

It seems that we are closing things down just so we can pay the top people more. It was reported during the week that the new health boss at Kirklees (unelected) is to get a salary rise from the £92,000 now to a staggering £121,000 totally unwarranted. Has anybody else outside professional football had a 29 per cent rise recently, I think not. Is this person doing a good job? Well we are being told that we have a major problem with obesity and diabetes. We are also told that nobody is doing enough exercise, is that why this over paid health chief is going on with Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre closure, to me that is one hell of a contradiction.

We are bringing our towns and villages down across Kirklees having just had huge praise from the French It seems daft to me. One thing I am hearing from Cleckheaton and Batley is these plans seem to be harming the chances of the Labour Party holding the Batley and Spen seat at the General Election next year. We have a new candidate and frankly peoples views are if this is what Labour are doing at local level then what will happen if and when we get a new MP.

It is unbelievable.

John Alan Ramsden

Carlton Way


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