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Tory skulduggery in Salisbury

January 18, 2019 4:14 PM
By Your WC

Your WC has issued a press release about the proposed replacement library in the city. This is because Cllr Brian Dalton and others have pointed out that the new library is to be much smaller than the existing one. The interesting thing about the press release is how the Tories twist words to give an impression which is very different from reality. For example, "no services will be lost" is correct in the sense that there is and will be a library. We're just not supposed to notice the size difference. The real beauty is "The new library ... is the equivalent size of the existing ground floor library space." At first reading that seems OK. However the existing library is on three floors. The quote from the responsible Tory cabinet member repeats the deceit.

The full release is below. It refers to a consultation but by pointing to the labyrinthine WC website is designed to discourage responses. So here's a link direct to the page

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Proposed Salisbury library forms part of wider exciting Maltings redevelopment

Wiltshire Council would like to reassure residents that no services will be lost in the proposed new library in Salisbury.

We are aware of some concerns being raised regarding the library move from Market Walk to a new location.

The new library identified in the recent Maltings planning application is the equivalent size of the existing ground floor library space, and through better use of space, flexible shelving and storage, will offer the same range of services in a new, purpose-built modern facility.

The relocation of the library is part of the first phase of the Maltings regeneration plan, and will ensure the continuity of service for the local community and visitors to the city while the Maltings scheme is progressed.

This application will allow the library to move, and give the option for the current gym and restaurant to move from their locations to enable the full redevelopment of Market Walk, for which we have £6m of government funding, which has to be spent by 2021.

While this application is progressing, the second phase will look at the development of a new cultural quarter to include City Hall and Salisbury Playhouse, and a new modern library site layout, plus gallery and exhibition space. Wiltshire Creative, supported by Wiltshire Council, is undertaking a cultural survey, which will identify what will be incorporated into the cultural quarter, and in turn form the basis of a masterplan for the area.

Pauline Church, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for economic development and South Wiltshire recovery said: "We recognise people's concerns with the Market Walk redevelopment and moving the library from that site. However, I would like to reassure residents that no services will be lost if the library is moved.

"The proposed new library will be the same size as the ground floor of the current library, and will utilise new technologies that allow for greater community access and improved use of the space.

"The development of Market Walk is first stage of the wider Maltings redevelopment, which will, in time, incorporate a new cultural quarter with City Hall, Salisbury Playhouse, the new library site, gallery and exhibition space.

"These are very exciting plans for the city."

People have the opportunity to feedback their views as part of the planning process and we would encourage anyone who wants to comment on the proposals to do so on the Wiltshire Council website, application number 18/11957/FUL.