THE mayor makes much of the recalcitrant councillors who refused to be steamrollered into making a decision at last week’s council meeting about taking out a loan of £2.7m to fund the new North Shields library, almost as though the “opportunity” was lost for ever.
And I note the article in the News Guardian stated that “opposition councillors required more consultation”. Any consultation would be a good start.
As a councillor for the ward where the facility will be, I would like to know more about the designs, the plans, the parking arrangements, the accessibility, and I would definitely like to know more about the £2.7m the council intends to borrow in order to pay for it.
What has happened to the record level of reserves?
As regards creating much needed office space for council staff, there is plenty of space elsewhere in council buildings and, in fact, North Tyneside Council has just leased office space in North Shields to a model railway group from somewhere in Northumberland, on a peppercorn rent.
If the council is to agree to the plans it will mean that we are consigned forever to have that architecturally challenged building blocking off the corner of what was once a beautiful Victorian square.
In an ideal world I would have liked to see the library completely relocated in North Shields and the square returned to its former elegance.
Expensive, maybe, but before we go down the road of no return I would like to know how much an ‘ideal world’ would cost rather than simply take the council into greater debt just to preserve the status quo.
COUN FRANK LOTT