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Libraries Service (LLE2)

Core Offer

Portfolio: Leisure and Local Environment Portfolio

This core offer includes services that the council is legally obliged to provide. The link below provides detailed information about what is included.

Let us have your views by filling in the Darlington Library Service Survey - Closed

The online library survey has been available for a six-week period and has now closed so we can collate the responses and feed them into the consultation process. Further comments are still welcome until 31 May 2016. You can send your comments via email to feedback@darlington.gov.uk or you can complete the budget proposals online form.

Link: LLE2 - Libraries Service

Official Copy Of Statutory Declaration [PDF Document]

Library Service Proposals [PDF Document]

Related FAQs

All the books from the library / libraries won’t fit in the Dolphin Centre.

All the books from the library / libraries won’t fit in the Dolphin Centre.

The proposed public floor space in the Dolphin Centre is comparable to what we have now at Crown Street and we will provide appropriate storage for the books not on display. 

Has the Council looked at ways buildings or services could be looked after by local groups?

Has the Council looked at ways buildings or services could be looked after by local groups?

We appreciate that there might well be groups willing to take over running buildings or services. While it is important that they are aware of the costs and responsibilities they would take on, we would be very happy to receive proposals. Unfortunately the speed of the spending reductions mean that the Council does not have the time to work with groups over any length of time so proposals need to be firmed up quite soon. 

You blame Govt cuts but other towns/cities still have libraries and arts centres – is this a case of financial mismanagement?

You blame Govt cuts but other towns/cities still have libraries and arts centres – is this a case of financial mismanagement?

Darlington has always been regarded by our external auditors as good at financial management, this is not the reason we are facing such high levels of cuts. Other councils will also be announcing cuts over the coming months and years. The level of cuts required as a result of Government grant cuts vary depending on many factors, but generally deprived areas have been hit worse. Also, other councils have higher Council Taxes than Darlington so have more revenue from that source than us, so their cuts will be less.

Who actually owns Crown Street Library?

Who actually owns Crown Street Library?

The Council owns the building.

How much would it cost to save the library and the indoor market?

How much would it cost to save the library and the indoor market?

The market is not under threat of closure, so there is no single figure available to save it. With input from traders, the Council is looking for a partner to invest in and improve the market. The relocation of the central library from Crown Street reduces spending by £300,000, so if the relocation does not happen the Council would need to find alternative savings to balance the budget.

Why keep the Dolphin Centre – more people would want to save the library and market first?

Why keep the Dolphin Centre – more people would want to save the library and market first?

Unfortunately the lack of funding means the Council must take some very tough decisions and they have proposed that keeping the Dolphin Centre is important to the borough and it can be kept open at the same time as maintaining a town centre library. In terms of the market, as stated earlier it is not closing. It is hoped the recent announcement – that the Council is working with traders to identify a partner to take over the management of the market – will put an end to incorrect speculation that it will close. Closure of the Dolphin Centre would have a significant impact on the Council’s ability to narrow the health gap as a significant proportion of the population use the Dolphin Centre on a regular basis. You can, of course, suggest an alternative to be considered.

Has a full options appraisal been carried out to review how the library service could be made sustainable? If not, why not?

Has a full options appraisal been carried out to review how the library service could be made sustainable? If not, why not?

In 2011/12, the Council did carry out an options appraisal for the Library service, which considered a number of proposals:

1)              Remaining in current location

2a)          Remaining in current location but half time at Cockerton

2b)         Close Cockerton and operate from Crown Street only

3a)          Keep Cockerton and move Crown Street operation to Central Hall

3b)         Close Cockerton and move Crown Street operation to Central Hall

4a)          Keep Cockerton and move Crown Street operation to the Town Hall

4b)         Close Cockerton and move Crown Street operation to the Town Hall

Cabinet considered these options on 22 February 2012 and agreed to note budget reductions in the service of £242,000 through consolidation of management and operational restructure, reducing opening hours at Cockerton from 50 to 28, and further explore opportunities for savings beyond 2013/14.  The current approach adopted by Cabinet in responding to its financial challenge is to look at producing a core offer budget being what we believe to be a budget that meets our legal obligations, the Core Offer budget includes Crown Street library.  As part of Cabinet’s considerations of how to utilise the £2.5m futures fund they decided to include the Dolphin Centre.  The cost of the library and the Dolphin Centre overall could be reduced by £300,000 by relocating the library to the Dolphin Centre therefore this is judged to be the most cost effective model for the 2 services.

In addition you will be aware we have worked with various organisations to try and deliver a volunteer based library service at Cockerton unfortunately without success.

Has a full options appraisal been carried out to review how the Dolphin Centre could be made sustainable, which includes an option that doesn't include re-locating the library? If not, why not?

Has a full options appraisal been carried out to review how the Dolphin Centre could be made sustainable, which includes an option that doesn't include re-locating the library? If not, why not?

The Dolphin Centre has been subject to a number of reviews leading to significant reductions in operating costs in previous budget rounds.   A full option appraisal was carried out in 2012 considering the establishment of a Trust, working with other Councils and the private sector and the result of this was to continue to operate in house and continue to look for other options to reduce net costs.

What are the estimated relocation and capital costs of putting the library in the Dolphin Centre? How is it proposed this is funded?  From receipts of the sale of Cockerton and/or Crown Street or general funds?

What are the estimated relocation and capital costs of putting the library in the Dolphin Centre? How is it proposed this is funded?  From receipts of the sale of Cockerton and/or Crown Street or general funds?

The estimated cost of relocation of the Library is £1.1m this amount allows for the structural changes required and full fit out of the library.  We intend to produce a mixture of modern vibrant areas together with more traditional elements hopefully recycling some of the elements of Crown Street into the latter. There is an additional amount included in the MTFP of £600,000 to replace plant and equipment in the Dolphin Centre which will be undertaken at the same time to remove the need for more interruption to provision at another time.  The £1.7m is to be funded by prudential borrowing and will be repaid from within the Library and Dolphin Centre budgets and this repayment is taken into account when calculating the savings from the relocation of the library.

What are the estimated relocation costs and the annual storage costs for moving both the Borough art collection and the Borough archive? How is it proposed this is funded? From receipts of the sale of Cockerton and/or Crown Street or general funds?

What are the estimated relocation costs and the annual storage costs for moving both the Borough art collection and the Borough archive? How is it proposed this is funded? From receipts of the sale of Cockerton and/or Crown Street or general funds?

The costs of storage of the Art Collection and the archive are included in the existing Dolphin/Library budget.  Relocation costs are not yet finalised.

What is the estimated valuation for the sale of Crown Street Library?

What is the estimated valuation for the sale of Crown Street Library?

Clearly the market will decide the exact value of the assets however due to the costs of conversion etc. we do not expect the receipt to be significant in terms of the Council’s overall budget position 

What is the estimated valuation for the sale of Cockerton Library?

What is the estimated valuation for the sale of Cockerton Library?

Again the market will ultimately determine the value and like Crown Street we do not see the level of receipt as significant in terms of the overall budget position.

When will it be decided if there will be a replacement art gallery?

When will it be decided if there will be a replacement art gallery?

There has been no decision taken yet on how or if the Art Gallery will be re provided.  We are looking at options and are keen to work with you to find solutions.

The Cabinet papers suggest the children's library will be bigger, is this right? Does this mean that all other parts of the library will be smaller as a result?

The Cabinet papers suggest the children's library will be bigger, is this right? Does this mean that all other parts of the library will be smaller as a result?

Draft designs are not yet complete and we are looking at a number of new options and once complete we will be keen to share them with you and others to get your views. 

Will the library have at least the same number of computers that are currently in both Cockerton and Crown Street combined, so people can access these to apply for work and benefits?

Will the library have at least the same number of computers that are currently in both Cockerton and Crown Street combined, so people can access these to apply for work and benefits?

The ICT offer within the Library service will be reviewed and modernised in line with best practice and the intention is to provide at least the same number of work stations as there currently is across the Library service.  However, again, the detail is still being worked on.  

Have you undertaken an impact assessment of closing the mobile library service on disadvantaged and vulnerable groups? If yes, please can you provide a copy? If not, why not?

Have you undertaken an impact assessment of closing the mobile library service on disadvantaged and vulnerable groups? If yes, please can you provide a copy? If not, why not?

An Impact Assessment will be carried out following the completion of the Library survey and will be available for Cabinet to consider prior to making any final decision on the Library Service.  

What is the legal basis for considering that one library constitutes a 'comprehensive library service'? Has an appraisal been undertaken about whether this would leave you open to legal challenge?

What is the legal basis for considering that one library constitutes a 'comprehensive library service'? Has an appraisal been undertaken about whether this would leave you open to legal challenge?

Currently the Council is consulting on its proposals for the Library service and alongside this a survey is being circulated for users and non-users to complete, which will help inform any final decision.  The Library Needs Assessment will be presented to Cabinet before they make their final decision.  

We understand from the Land Registry that Darlington Borough Council has lost the covenant placed on Crown Street Library. When was it lost?

We understand from the Land Registry that Darlington Borough Council has lost the covenant placed on Crown Street Library. When was it lost?

We understand that the deeds and documents were lost in or about March 1974.  Further details are set out in the statutory declaration of Alan Thornthwaite Carling (formerly the Assistant Borough Solicitor to Darlington Borough Council), on 22 December 1983.  

Do Darlington Borough Council know what the covenant related to Crown Street Library said?

Do Darlington Borough Council know what the covenant related to Crown Street Library said?

The library opened in 1885 following a bequest in the will of Edward Pease.

Although we do not have the original records, it may well have been the case that the property was subject to a restrictive covenant. We understand that the deeds and documents were lost in or about March 1974, most probably during local government reorganisation with Durham County Council.

In 1983 statutory declaration was made by a former Assistant Borough Solicitor about the loss of deeds that occurred in 1974. This indicated that in 1983 the property was thought to be subject to a restrictive covenant that it should be ‘used for purposes of a public library forever. 

Land Registry records show the Council as the freehold owner, but there is reference made to lost deeds and documents and that restrictive covenants imposed before 9 September 2010 are still enforceable.

If there is a restrictive covenant concerning the Crown Street Building this does not prevent the library service from relocating to another building. It could however restrict the future use of Crown Street although there are steps that can be taken to have any restrictive covenant discharged.

A copy of the Statutory Declaration is available on the relateted proposal pages.

Our understanding is that there is a signed affidavit by the then Borough solicitor of Darlington Borough Council that was written at the time the covenant for Crown Street Library was found to be lost and that this affidavit states the covenant existed and what was in it. Is this true? 

Our understanding is that there is a signed affidavit by the then Borough solicitor of Darlington Borough Council that was written at the time the covenant for Crown Street Library was found to be lost and that this affidavit states the covenant existed and what was in it. Is this true? 

The document you refer to is a statutory declaration by Alan Thornthwaite Carling, at the time the Assistant Borough Solicitor to Darlington Borough Council, on 22 December 1983.  

How are discussions going with the Pease family? Have they had chance to see if they have got a copy of the covenant?

How are discussions going with the Pease family? Have they had chance to see if they have got a copy of the covenant?

We have contacted the Pease Family and they are reviewing their records to see if they have any documents that will be of assistance.

Are you any further forward in identifying where the borough collection and archives are going to be stored?

Are you any further forward in identifying where the borough collection and archives are going to be stored?

Further work is taking place with regard to suitable and appropriate locations for storing the Borough Collection and Archive.  However our working assumption is that they can be accommodated within the Dolphin Centre and other Council buildings.  

Would you be willing to consider transferring the Crown Street Library building to a heritage organisation (such as the National Trust or English Heritage) or a community organisation?

Would you be willing to consider transferring the Crown Street Library building to a heritage organisation (such as the National Trust or English Heritage) or a community organisation?

It is our intention to market the building, however should any such options be forthcoming the Council would consider them.

Why are you closing Crown Street Library?

Why are you closing Crown Street Library?

The Council has a duty to provide a library service and we will continue to do so. Our proposals include relocating the library service to a remodelled Dolphin Centre, which will deliver efficiencies, reducing the costs of the Central Library and Dolphin Centre by approximately £330,000.
It would also deliver a modern, accessible library for the town which will address many of the shortcomings of the Crown Street site such as poor toilet provision, baby change facilities, social/breakout space, cafe facilities, modern environment and improved ICT. 

What will happen to the Crown Street Library building – isn’t it covered by a restricted covenant?

What will happen to the Crown Street Library building – isn’t it covered by a restricted covenant?

The library opened in 1885 following a bequest from the will of Edward Pease (1834-1880) and we have been in touch with the Pease family about the Council’s budget proposals. Although we do not have the original records, it may well have been the case that the property was subject to a restrictive covenant and possibly a trust.
In 1983 a statutory declaration was made by a former Assistant Borough Solicitor about the loss of deeds that occurred in 1974. This indicated that in 1983 the property was thought to be subject to a restrictive covenant that it should be ‘used for purposes of a public library forever’.Land Registry records show the Council as the freehold owner, but there is reference made to lost deeds and documents and that restrictive covenants imposed before 9 September 2010 are still enforceable.
If there is a restrictive covenant concerning the Crown Street building this does not prevent the library service from relocating to another building. It could however restrict the future use of Crown Street. There are steps that can be taken to have a restrictive covenant removed. This would be by making an application to the Lands Tribunal, which has the power to vary or discharge covenants on land.

Why don’t you mothball Head of Steam and/or merge it with Locomotion at Shildon (which is free) and use the money to save Crown Street Library?

Why don’t you mothball Head of Steam and/or merge it with Locomotion at Shildon (which is free) and use the money to save Crown Street Library?

If you wish to put this forward as a suggestion it is something that could be considered. However, the Cabinet’s budget proposals reflect a desire to retain Loco No.1 and other key assets that are in the Head of Steam as they are a fundamental part of the town’s heritage. There is the opportunity to use that heritage to be a part of the town’s regeneration and visitor offer as we move toward the 200 years celebration of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 2025. The saving from closing the museum could be used to retain Crown Street, however further savings would also be required to keep Crown Street open as the cost of the Museum is less than would be required to keep Crown Street open.

Can you clarify the costs of the remodelled Dolphin Centre? On your website it says £779k , but in the One Darlington magazine (March) p.22, it says £1.7million, which is the correct figure please?

Can you clarify the costs of the remodelled Dolphin Centre? On your website it says £779k , but in the One Darlington magazine (March) p.22, it says £1.7million, which is the correct figure please?

The estimated cost of relocation of the Library is £1.1m.  There is an additional amount included in the MTFP of £600,000 to replace plant and equipment in the Dolphin Centre which will be undertaken at the same time to remove the need for more interruption to provision at another time.  The £1.7m is to be funded by borrowing (subject to Local Authority rules). The repayment costs will be repaid from the gross relocation savings and are included before the net saving of £300,000.

The £779,000 referred to on the website is the annual running costs for the remodelled Dolphin Centre. 

Could we bring together the libraries and museums service for all five boroughs in the Tees Valley to form one service where perhaps economies of scale can be achieved?  This may be a way of saving the library service in Darlington and keeping the library at Crown Street.  The Head of Steam Museum could also be included in the service and linked to other museums in the Tees Valley.  Has this been explored and if it has not, can it perhaps be explored?

Could we bring together the libraries and museums service for all five boroughs in the Tees Valley to form one service where perhaps economies of scale can be achieved?  This may be a way of saving the library service in Darlington and keeping the library at Crown Street.  The Head of Steam Museum could also be included in the service and linked to other museums in the Tees Valley.  Has this been explored and if it has not, can it perhaps be explored?

This has been looked at previously to some degree. The complexity is that libraries tend to be managed in different ways in different places – in some they are in education, some leisure, some culture. This makes the exercise of separating out costs and people much more complex and often there will be a raft of cross subsidy going on. There appears to be little appetite from other authorities at present and regrettably the timescale involved is impractical, as it would probably take a minimum of a year with uncertainty as to whether it could actually achieve the scale of savings we need.

Your Say

20 comment(s)

This table lists comments from the public about this proposal

Comment

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

you've been trying to get rid of Cockerton library for years so this one is no surprise. It's not as if anyone uses it is it?????

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

I believe that the Crown Street Library and the Centre for Local Studies should remain open and based out of the Crown Street building. This building is important to Darlington's heritage and should be maintained as a public use building for future generations of the town.

It is also important that the valuable resources within the Centre for Local Studies are looked after and that the citizens of the town have easy access to them.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Please don't make the mistake of taking away education from under the tiny feet of our children. Dont tear the books from the hads of our babes. The seed you sow today will one day be the great oak of tomorrow. Keep hope in the lives of our little ones. Let the adults take the fall. Do the right thing. Books in the hands of children come before bums on the seat in a theatre. Think.

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

If selling off the town library in Crown street and moving the library into the Dolphin centre is to make the Dolphin centre viable; what will be left to sell off once that money has run out?
Would Darlington public be willing to pay a membership fee to use Crown street library service?
Would a temporary lowering or freezing of car parking fees help attract footfall to Darlington?
Most people I know use Sainsbury's car park for 3 hours free and walk into the town. How will car parking fees attract people to park in town centre car parks when people can park for 3 hours free? Although I do understand that the revenue accrued will be significant. Does Darlington Borough Council get ALL parking fees accrued at DBC car parks?

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)

I am strongly against the closure of Crown Street library.

The library building is an icon for the town. To see it boarded up or sold off to become a cheap clothes shop or a bar is a horrific proposition. This would be bad enough it the sale of the site would generate enough money to provide a significant benefit to the town, but at best it will provide only a small proportion of the funding needed for the Civic Theatre redevelopment. The town needs Crown Street library far more than additional facilities at the theatre and the use of money intended by the Pease family for education to be used to support a leisure facility which they fought long and hard against would be a disgrace. While their views of the immorality of theatre shows and alcohol may be outdated, the principle of them should be respected.

Crown Street library belongs to the people of Darlington and it is clear from recent discussions around the budget proposals that the people of the town want to retain it at all costs. If the closure ultimately leads to the demolition of the building, which seems the most likely outcome, it would be an act of cultural vandalism on the part of the council.

A way has to be found to maintain the library service in Crown Street. I and many others would be willing to pay an additional amount to maintain it, perhaps as a subscription to a non-statutory part of the service such as the Local Studies Centre. The council must seek to work with Darlington for Culture to operate Crown Street library at a reduced cost and not simply dismiss their suggestions as it did with the running of the Arts Centre or the town will ultimately lose everything which gives it its character.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

The proposal to close Crown Street library, art gallery, computer centre, local studies and relocate to what is a sports centre has to be one of the most depressing and, in my view, ridiculous, suggestions in a a package of very upsetting cuts. I know about government responsibility but this idea leaves me speechless, so I concur with the excellent response from Darlington for Culture

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

I WOULD LIKE TO VEHEMENTLY PROTEST AGAINST THE PROPOSED CLOSURE OF CROWN STREET LIBRARY. I VISIT THE LIBRARY EVERY WEEK AND PART OF THE APPEAL IS THE BUILDING ITSELF. I FEEL AT THE VERY LEAST THE PEOPLE OF DARLINGTON SHOULD BE CONSULTED BEFORE SUCH MAJOR PROPOSALS ARE CONSIDERED, THE LIBRARY IS MUCH MORE THAN A BUILDING FULL OF BOOKS. I WONDER HOW MANY COUNSELLORS HAVE VISITED IT RECENTLY? MAYBE YOU SHOULD CALL IN ON A SATURDAY MORNING AND SEE ALL THE DIFFERENT PEOPLE WHO USE IT, FROM YOUNG CHILDREN TO PEOPLE WHO ARE ON THE MARGINS OF SOCIETY. DARLINGTON WILL BE MUCH THE POORER IF WE ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

I'd be grateful if someone could clarify costs of the remodelled dolphin centre. On your website it says £780k , but in the one darlington magazine that has come out this week, p.22, it says £1.7million. Which is the correct figure please?

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

The library service in Darlington provides equal opportunities for all children and young people to access a wide range of literature. There have been many studies that show children and adults who read regularly thrive both academically and socially. Reading also promotes good mental health and is beneficial to elderly people, both mentally and emotionally. Closing the library in Darlington would impact all areas of the community, limiting academic attainment in children and contributing to isolation in elderly people. The library promotes ties in the community through groups run at both Crown street and Cockerton.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

I am a regular (almost daily) user of the e library at Crown Street, but not a regular user of the main book lending library. My proposal is to utilize the (currently) empty former disability building adjacent to the Dolphin entrance purely as a computer access point and nothing else. If this building was opened, say, 0930 to 1630 hours daily, Monday to Friday, this could be accomplished with minimum personnel from DBC but voluntary staff could be used, in, say, 4 hour shifts, as support. If a DBC library assistant could be persuaded to work a 7 hour shift with no or minimal breaks, or each of two staff members to work up to 4 hours direct, then only two staff would be required. A rota of volunteers could be established who could also assist in the main library, should it be re-located. I would, as you can deduce, like to see the e library continue in more or less its current form but with reduced opening hours.
Alternatively leave the e library where it is but considerably reduce the opening hours.

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

This council has damaged our town!! It has no sense of heritage. People are shocked at how far this council will go to turn this town into a town with no pride.The money it wastes is mind blowing. The library was given to the people forever, not till the council decides it needs money, oh we will just sell off The Market, oh no we may be able to do a deal to keep the Market. Lets try the Library get rid and use the money that is given to the Council to help run the library to keep the Dolphin going. They think the people of Darlington are blind, well the people are ready to fight, it's their library not the Council's. watch this space.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

I oppose the closure and sale of the Crown Street library, the closure of Cockerton Library and the ending of the Mobile Library and the relocation of the Central Library to the Dolphin Centre. Crown Street Library was a gift to the people of Darlington by the Pease family to remain as a library forever. I believe the building has a covenant on it which protects it as a library forever. Surely to get the covenant lifted will take a long time and will be very expensive for the Council. With unresolved issues it makes no sense to move the library from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre. No one is going to buy the Crown Street building with a covenant still unresolved.
I dont believe the Council have the right to sell the Crown Street library building because it belongs to the people of Darlington. The Council are only custodians of the building. Closing Crown Street library, using it for a different purpose for which it was intended by the Pease Family or leaving it derelict will considerably and irreversibly damage the heritage and culture of Darlington which so many people have worked hard to protect. Moving the library to the Dolphin Centre will leave the Council with an empty building which they will have to pay to keep secure which will be expensive. What happened to the Arts Centre when it was left derelict for years and suffered vandalism will undoubtedly happen to the Crown Street building. Having a derelict building in Crown Street will blight the surrounding streets and the town centre and the shops and businesses based there. Crown Street Library is well used and is greatly loved by the people of Darlington.. The Dolphin Centre is clearly unsuitable for housing a library. The area where the library is proposed to be located in the Dolphin Centre is much smaller than the ground floor of the Crown Street Library. Cockerton Library is well used not only for library purposes but as community hub for other services. The plans for the Local Studies Centre at Crown Street Library is unclear. Rumours that the contents will be dispersed to other Council buildings and people needing to use the service will have to make an appointment wiill discourage people from using the service. The ending of the Mobile Library will severely disadvantage people who are housebound, the elderly, the disabled, people who have illnesses and people who live in villages who do not have transport and cannot rely on public transport.
I am in support of the Communities Libraries Steering Group Business Case for the Future of the Library Service in Darlington and hope that the Council will work with the Steering Group to keep Crown Street and Cockerton Libraries open, the services in the buildings to continue and the Mobile Library kept serving people who find it impossible to access the library buildings.

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

The library building was given to the people of Darlington, the people of darlington have spoken and they dont want this service to close what right to you have to close it. will it be sold like the art centre to be empty and crumbering for the next 10 years the Pease family would have sure put in the conditions of the gift that it cannot be sold or that the use can not be changed so it would have to be a library. Be a lose to the town if this closes. beautiful building which as more character and soul than the horride new fleetham complex

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Dismay, it will send out all the wrong messages. The North East is badly affected by deindustrialisation and because of this non essential services are to be reduced. The library was given by our greatest industrialist as he knew that access to knowledge mattered and it matters even more these days. The town is enriched by this library and it is a truly democratic place, open to all. Please leave it alone, and we the people of Darlington will cherish and develop it as a resource for ALL.

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Core LLE6 (Indoor Bowls Club)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Can you justify the 60 year PFI agreement with the bowls clubs at Morrisons? That money would be better spent keeping The Bridge or the library open. It seems that the Council is wasting money. What about the Head of Steam which has very few visitors? Surely that money should be spent on the library where the footfall is much higher?

A: The bowls club is not a PFI agreement. The £25,000 a year gives 300 people, many of whom are elderly, a hobby and friendship and I think it is very good value. The agreement was reached 25 years ago when the supermarket was built and when the decision was made not one voice objected.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

This is a transcription of comments made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: If you decide to move Crown Street Library to the Dolphin Centre, what’s going to happen to the Crown Street building? It was gifted to the people of the town by Joseph Pease.
Q: Why don’t you knock down the Town Hall, move council staff into the Dolphin Centre and leave Crown Street Library where it is.
Q: Closing Cockerton and Crown Street Libraries, to be replaced with something shoe-horned into the Dolphin Centre, isn’t an adequate solution.
Q: Leave the library in Crown Street, a lot of people depend on it.
Q: If you had a shelf of books you valued in your home, the last place you would put them is next to a bathroom. Crown Street Library should be left where it is as a legacy for our children.

A: (Cllr Wallis) None of these are a done deal. These are proposals we are making. If people do not believe we should be pursuing option A, B or C they need to let us know what we should be doing. We are working with the Peases to see how they feel about the covenant. Crown Street Library is a grade II-listed building and is protected in a way that the Covered Market isn’t. There’s hundreds, if not thousands, of staff who work in the Town Hall. We can’t fit them into the Dolphin Centre.

Q: What would happen to the local history books?
A: We are retaining some local history facilities

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Someone has bought the Cornmill and they take into their plan the rest of the town. I thought we might have a chance here- they could look at our dear library. The library doesn’t’ make money but we don’t want to lose it. To me it’s a lot to do with communication, it’s a place for people to come, the staff get to know them, and talk to face to face with them. Library staff signpost people to other services, they are trained to know what happens and how to point people in different directions. I am upset about the mobile library because it covers villages, people living in the villages pay council tax and they deserve a mobile library. The library should be a community hub. I want it to promoted and loved. We have been chosen as a Healthy Town but where is the library in that as healthy minds?
I believe the library building was donated to the people of Darlington by the Pease family and I read this covenant has been lost by the council?

A: -It was at a time when the new borough council was formed when the deeds were lost. We are talking to the Pease family about the future of the building. They want to hear other people’s views.

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

It was with dismay that I heard of the proposal/decision for the closure of the libraries in Crown St and Cockerton and the discontinuation of the Mobile Library service. The library has been a major part of my life ever since I joined the library when I was about 8 years old (I am now 76). I have recently been researching the life of my great-uncle who was librarian at Cork when the library there was burned down by the British Army in Dec 1920, during the Irish War of Independence. I would like to quote to you from a book by Thomas McCarthy "Rising from the Ashes" which is a quotation in itself from the "Cork Examiner" 10 Jan 1921 which was part of an appeal by Mr Wilkinson and two colleagues for beginning to restock their library. "The destruction of a library, large or small - whether Alexandria, Louvain or Cork - always appears as a crime against humanity, a violation of the sacred neutrality of the world of letters, art and scholarship."

Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Letter containing suggestions for the library

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE2 (Libraries Service)

Feedback form about the library proposals

Documents