Library merger still on cards?

Looks like the Bath Central Library merger with the One Stop Shop could still go ahead – at a future date.

The following press release has come in from the Liberal Democrat B&NES Council Group.

“Conservative politicians intend to pursue the failed Bath Library and One Stop Shop merger project after the elections in May, it has been confirmed.

Bath Central Library

Bath Central Library

Following questioning at a Council watchdog committee yesterday evening, the Cabinet member was forced to admit that savings of £250,000 were still needed from the Libraries department and that the merger project would be included in the 2019/20 council capital programme.

Lib Dem spokesperson on Customer Services, Councillor Richard Samuel (Walcot) commented:

“The admission that the Conservatives have only deferred – not cancelled – the library project should concern all those who are supporters of the Central Library.

“We previously warned that they were planning to kick it past the elections and this now been confirmed as correct.

screenshot 2019-01-22 at 13.54.33

Cllr Richard Samuels

“Overall, the project has been a huge waste of time and money and has shown that this administration is not prepared to listen to what local people want.

“This cynical attempt to duck the issue ahead of the local elections is pure political gamesmanship and residents will not be fooled.”

A spokesperson for B&NES who l approached for a comment told me:

“The modern libraries programme has made good progress with a new integrated library and information centre in Midsomer Norton running successfully and a series of community libraries opened in 2018/19 with more opening in 2019/20.
“This part of the modern libraries programme remains paused at this point and no decision has been made on when or whether to proceed. The savings targets in the draft budget cover the whole programme.”

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