Library plans put on hold yet again

PROPOSALS to do up a popular borough library have been put on hold again.

Councillors had been asked to approved plans to borrow £2.7m to spend on refurbishing North Shields Central Library and creating a joint service centre.

However, those proposals, already deferred once before, were withdrawn ahead of last week’s full meeting at North Tyneside Council last week.

Instead, borough mayor Linda Arkley is to include the project in the 2012-13 budget-setting framework now being drawn up.

The current building closed last week and a temporary library is being set up at the nearby former North Tyneside Business Centre.

The old library was forced to close because of problems with its heating system and lift.

Mrs Arkley said the plans to create a library and joint service centre would save the council more than £130,000 a year by bringing a range of services together under one roof.

Speaking to the News Guardian, she said: “We can’t expect the public and users to go into a building which is not fit for purpose.

“I’ve put this into my budget and policy framework, so when we set the budget, this will go forward and work will start next April.

“This was the best way to go.

“It’s no good people trying to stop things. We’ve got to get the best facilities for the council and taxpayers.”

Mrs Arkley has dismissed suggestions that the building be demolished and rebuilt, saying that would cost too much.