David Stitt, Councillor for Abbey Ward, has called on Dumfries and Galloway Council to listen to the local community and drop plans to relocate Dalbeattie library.
Under the Tory SNP Council coalition’s proposals, the library, along with registration and customer services, would be moved from its current home on Dalbeattie High Street to the new Dalbeattie Learning Campus, which will be based at the current site of Dalbeattie High School.
However, a report to last week’s meeting of Stewartry Area Committee showed that 85% of the public who took part in the council’s survey opposed the plan.
Councillor David Stitt said:
“From the start, I have said that the community did not want the library to be relocated from the High Street to Dalbeattie High and this survey backs up my view. 85% of respondents oppose the move. The local community has spoken, yet the council are turning a deaf ear.”
“The move brings no benefits to the local community. If they moved to the new facility local people will have to travel further to get there and foot fall will be lost from the High Street. You also have to question how appropriate is for strangers to be walking in and out of a school grounds.”
Councillor Stitt also expressed concerns about how the area committee meeting was run:
“The meeting of the Area committee was an absolute shambles. We discussed the results of the public survey and the future of the library for an hour. It was only then that the Chair decided he wanted clarification on the part of the report which stated we needed to note the significant concerns expressed by the community and how best to take forward this initiative. We recessed for 25 minutes and then the report was removed by a council official so a further report could be written. I cannot help but feel that this report was pulled because the council did not like the results of the survey. I am now concerned that the new report will be presented in such a way as to dismiss the community’s real concerns.”