Time to stop cuts to ‘essential’ library

Todmorden town councillors Frank McManus, David O'Neill and Mark Catterall objecting to cuts to opening hours at the library on Rochdale Road, Todmorden
Todmorden town councillors Frank McManus, David O'Neill and Mark Catterall objecting to cuts to opening hours at the library on Rochdale Road, Todmorden

TOWN councillors have written to Calderdale Council urging a relaxation of the cuts to Todmorden Library’s opening hours.

In April the library’s opening times were reduced, much to the dismay of members of Todmorden Town Council, who feel that libraries play a vital role in difficult economic times.

At last week’s amenities committee meeting, members decided to write to Calderdale Council highlighting the cultural and educational value of libraries, plus the fact that many people now use the library for job-seeking purposes.

Councillors also expressed concerns that for some Todmorden residents, it is difficult to access Halifax Central Library, which can be up to 15 miles away.

Coun Mark Catterall said: “Libraries are important at a time of unemployment and recession.

“With the amount of umemployment at the moment, libraries are essential.

“I’m really worried about the services that people in this town depend on being cut.”

Coun Frank McManus said: “A relaxation of cuts in Todmorden to compensate for the seeming discrimination against Todmorden on other issues would be welcome.

“It could be financed by cutting councillors’ pay.”

Coun David O’Neill and fellow members called on the Todmorden ward councillors on Calderdale Council to do more to oppose the cuts.

“I think we need to get more of our district councillors at Calderdale Council to say we keep getting cuts but how about the time that Todmorden gets a fair share?” he said.

“We don’t want the cuts. We want it sorted now.”

He praised Jayne Booth for going to speak at a Calderdale Council meeting on the town council’s behalf’s about trying to get funding reinstated for staffing costs at Todmorden Information Centre.

Coun Anne James said Calderdale Council should better prioritise where it spends money.

“Libraries are much more important than paths for lucky dogs,” she said.