Wednesday, 27 April 2016

City's Libraries Plan withdrawn

The following statement refers to a report on the council’s Libraries Plan which includes a proposal to sell the Hove Library building and use the proceeds to set up a new cultural centre, including library facilities, at Hove Museum. This proposal has created a lot of opposition and the possibility of the Conservatives and Greens on the Council uniting to support an amendment to the plan.

Council leader and chair of the policy and resources committee Cllr Warren Morgan has now deferred a decision on the plan due for debate tomorrow. He said:

“Following last-minute discussions with the opposition groups on the council, I have decided to withdraw the Libraries Plan from the agenda of this week’s policy and resources committee. This plan is essential in maintaining a council-run network of community libraries across the city, extending opening hours and delivering a library service for the residents of central Hove, all within the agreed and limited budget for the service.

“Throughout this process, senior officers from the libraries team have answered all of the points and queries put forward by councillors from all Groups, and have tabled a twenty five page business case setting out the financial case for the Libraries Plan as a whole. However I am keen that further time is given for exploration of the financial options involved if that is what is needed to secure a consensus.

It is vital that we move forward with this as soon as possible so that the future of the Carnegie Building is secured and so that political differences do not undermine a plan that has secured majority public support.”

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