Rallying support for libraries at Batley and Cleckheaton

Meeting: Batley Library

Residents in one part of North Kirklees are being urged to make sure they take part in the ongoing library service consultation process to keep both the services and building which houses their local library safe, while a meeting on Friday aims to rally support for another.

The Friends of Cleckheaton Library - which is at Whitcliffe Road - are urging residents and users to make their views about not only the service but the building known, while a meeting at Batley Library, Market Place, tomorrow, February 26, from 10am to noon will be attended by Kirklees Council’s joint Cabinet member for resources, Coun Graham Turner. Coun Turner will also attend a meeting at Cleckheaton on February 5.

Support: Friends of Cleckheaton Library are urging the public to make their support clear

The meeting will discuss the possibly closure of the library and Barfield Educational, who are supporters of the library. urged on Twitter “anyone who can come please do, it is essential that we voice our objections.”

For anyone who cannot make that meeting, there is an extraordinary meeting of the Friends of Batley Library on Saturday, January 27, 2pm to 4pm, to discuss what was said the previous day, and will be attended by Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin, says Barfield Educational.

The future of libraries and the library service is once again being debated via a consultation which will run until April 2, three years after such an exercise was last held.

The consultation, which is being carried out on behalf of the council by Qa Research consultants, will ask library users for their views on how the service should be run in future.

A questionnaire is available online at www.kirklees.gov.uk/libraryconsultation or by picking up a copy at local libraries. A decision on the future of the service is then expected to be made by July.

A Friends of Cleckheaton Library member said the council seemed to be stonewalling any ideas they put forward for permanent uses of the building, such as creating a scented garden in the grounds.

“They have been stonewalling. The council seems intent on splitting library services from library buildings. We are hoping as many people as possible takes part in the consultation,” she said.

The building was a meeting place in line with the campaign against loneliness by the late MP Jo Cox, she added.

“The library is free, warm, safe and an nideal place to come and meet. It’s a lovely welcoming area,” she said.

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