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A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library (£779,000)

Future Funds

Portfolio: Leisure and Local Environment Portfolio

Retain a centrally located multi-purpose leisure centre. The Dolphin Centre will be remodelled with the Registrar’s Service relocating to the Town Hall freeing up space for the Central Library to be relocated within the Centre.   The relocation will deliver efficiencies reducing the cost of the Central Library and the Centre by approximately £300,000.

The relocation of the Library will deliver a modern accessible library for the Town which will also address many of the short comings of the Crown Street site, namely :-

  • Poor toilet provision
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Increased space for children’s library and activities
  • Social/breakout space
  • Café facilities
  • Modern environment
  • Improved ICT

The relocation will enable the Crown Street building to be sold and discussions will take place with interested parties such as the Pease Family.  Disposal values will not be as high as maybe imagined by many due to the cost of conversion and it is proposed, subject to agreement by interested parties, that any receipts be used to assist in achieving the Civic Theatre sponsorship target of £1.6m.

[Reference: Cabinet papers, Item 6, paragraph 52(b)]

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.

Links:

Library Service Proposals [PDF document]

Proposed new layout for the Dolphin Centre (Ground Floor) [PDF Document]

Proposed new layout for the Dolphin Centre (First Floor) [PDF Document]

Official Copy Of Statutory Declaration [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 are the estimated relocation and capital costs associated with moving the registrar from the Dolphin Centre to the Town Hall? 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 associated with moving the registrar from the Dolphin Centre to the Town Hall? How is it proposed this is funded? From receipts of the sale of Cockerton and/or Crown Street or general funds?

The estimated costs of relocating the Registrars is £140,000; this will be funded by prudential borrowing paid for from within existing budgets. 

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.

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

157 comment(s)

This table lists comments from the public about this proposal

Comment

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

For all I don't live in Drlington now I find it terrible that you are slowly killing the town .. All the silly yellow lines around the place making it impossibe for people to sort their businesses .. As for indoor market and Libary its awful that your thinking of getting rid of these . They are part of our history and should be saved rather than got rid of . Really think you as council should be trying to save these pieces of history instead of getting risd and you should be fighting to help the town live instead of killing it. Take a pay cut all of you and give up your expenses and manage on the little money most of us have to . that would save a lot of money I'm sure

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

This is a travesty closing part of Darlington's history and part of it's charm-the lovely covered market has been part of my history and also the library and why can't something else be done to save money such as not paying ridiculous fees for venues for councillors to entertain like the university buildings when you have a big enough town hall and areas in the Dolphin centre. You are closing the places that are good for Darlington and its tourism and not the places that are not.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Keep library as currently is.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

We know that the government has slashed the budget by a vast amount,but Darlington IS a Market Town, so Our Indoor Market has to be Kept Open. A town the size of Darlington Must have a Library. We have already lost our Outdoor Market from the Market square. Our Council has TOO many overpaid Executive s, Make them redundant and move somebody up with more Ideas

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

In response to the budget cuts and planned proposal to sell/ lease the market and closure of crown street library. I understand that these decisions are being deliberated as a reaction to government cuts and the need to significantly reduce council public spending, therefore my comments are not to point the finger at the council, demand accountability but simply to question the reasoning behind such decisions without looking at alternative funding structures, spending plans and new business models as an alternative. Having grown up in the town I have seen a huge increase in both the size, demographic, occupations, businesses and educational establishments that now thrive here, the town has had many success stories in attracting national and foreign investment. However I believe that removing the market from a market town would have huge implications for the identity of Darlington, this is fundamental not least because it will have a disasterous effect on its marketability, visually and integrally it makes up the culture and heritage of the town its most visual bargaining tool in terms of tourism and the centre of how Darlington not only identifies itself but distinguishes itself from various other similar towns in the vicinity to remove it is to remove the identity of the town centre and those that affiliate with it if anything this should be the one site that the council should be determined and fighting to save. This brings me into my next point if the council are unable to save this building then residents of the town should be given the opportunity to save it themselves, by looking at alternate funding structures different business models and allowing residents to get involved I beleive this could be a reality, this is an opportunity to redefine the space and attract new business, could it become a cultural quarter ( specialist book stalls, cheese and wine stalls, vintage fashion,live music seating outside stalls to encourage people to stay) there are numerous ways to redefine and modernise the space to compliment the town without getting rid of it. social enterprises, private business investment and events could all could all be considered to make this a plausible alternative plan. I hope that my views are considered.

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

I think it's a terrible shame to close the libraries in town and Cockerton. They are a vital cultural plus for the town. My granddaughters love Rhyme time there and it's so important for children to visit libraries to foster a love of books as a family. My earliest memories are of bring taken there regularly and u feel it is criminal to deny this to future generations.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

This cannot happen to Darlington. The library is very well used and the building is historic. Our indoor market it a great place to shop. By shopping there we are supporting local independent traders. I have friends & family who live outside Darlington. They make regular once sometimes more weekly shopping trips to buy local produce in the market. Needless to say while here they visit & spend in other stores in the town. If we loose these Darlington will be a ghost town. This is something I would not want to happen. We need to redress these issues & find a alternative solution

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

Hi, I understand setting a budget can not be easy when so many cuts have been made that are out of our control. But, what has been proposed for the upcoming years is an absolute disgrace. The much loved Arts centre had to be sold off because of costs, sold to a private company, and now its distressing to walk past there and see the state of neglect that its in, saddening. And that is what you are proposing to do in the centre of our once beautiful town, sell on the victorian market, what will become of it, what will become of the clock when so many fought to keep its bells!?. That market represents the town and is our landmark. Move the library??? use the money invested in the dolphin centre to move a library to save our heritage. No more flowers, no more christmas lights???. No more shoppers no more income for the town, it is obvious from what i have heard people say that once you remove these landmarks, what used to make our town a proud place to live in, it will not exist. What a dismal place with no christmas lights, no flowers from a town that used to win annual in bloom competitions. But worst of all to reduce funding from the most vulnerable is sickening, to take away from people that can't fight back, the young, the old the vulnerable. We are going back in time, to times of hardship, not looking to a positive future at all. Again I don't pretend to understand how the cuts can be made, or offer any alternative, but take away our landmarks, our heritage and you take away the heart of this town!!!

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Cut Mc10 (Christmas lights)

I think the council are trying to run darlington into the ground by selling the covered market and closing the libraries down those buildings are our heritage that's why darlington was and still is a market town although we don't have a market like we used to and I guess we will be the only town not having any Xmas lights what a let down the council don't care about the people who live here only to fill their own pockets darlington is going to die from now on no matter how many new buildings you put up its the heritage we must keep not sell it off or knock it down so why don't you listen to the people of darlington and not destroy our beautiful town just to line your pockets

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

This town began dying when our High Row was butchered unnecessarily. Not only was it the heart of the town it was a tourist attraction too. I was born and raised here and left for a period of 10 years with work comittments before returning in the 90's. Whilst I acknowledge there is such a thing as progress I was shocked to see how much of the original town centre had been bulldozed and replaced. Since then I've watched more and more of our heritage disappear till it's virtually unrecognisable from the beautiful, unique market town, to cloning into another block paved faceless precinct mentality. The outdoor market is pitiful compared to the throng we had on the market square and now the indoor market is set to disappear too along with our beautiful library, given to the people by one of the founders of this town. The town is slowly being strangled, instead of destroying our heritage, it should be preserved, loved and allowed to become once again, the pleasant market town centre it was. In this fast, modern world people are turning back to old fashioned values and traditions, they're tired of pesticides and force grown food, why cut your nose off to spite your face? What good is your new multi-storey car park to you when there's no cars to fill it beacuse the town is dead? Support the small local traders who are fighting to keep this town alive for you. Let us be a market town again with our beautiful library and market on a market square. Crown Street in itself could surely bring some income in if the library was downsized (which I presume is your intention when it's wedged in the Dolphin Centre). If one part was turned instead into a function room, wouldn't that be a splendid venue for weddings etc that would bring revenue? I completely understand there are cutbacks necessary but my heart tells me the ones under consideration could bring dire consequences for our struggling town. Save us, don't kill us. Please.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Hugely disappointed on several levels. The character and heritage of the town is being ignored. The Pease library should not be sold (as much as I love the civic theatre). To move it I believe will in all likelihood end up in a substandard library in the faceless council answer to everything The Dolphin centre . Maintain it , get groups more involved , cafe proposals, children's services . Half hearted suggestions previously ,never given true thought. Author signings/ talks . Seven stories etc... Organise author talks and charge ( I have been ) and seen the numbers it can attract if someone puts the effort in and these have been in faceless halls rather than beautiful buildings .

Local traders and their livelihoods once and the towns history. The market hall if it is allowed to go leaves darlington with faceless big name retailers that any other place has. foffanos the most recent I can think of and its venture into the deli should be commended for trying to bring variety into the town and they are now hit with this ?

Are the vunerable to be hit again ? kids need support when young to give help before the problems become bigger. whether this is at learning levels or at children's home levels. local businesses see enough trouble already with dealing with shoplifters, drunks, drugs and more recently troublesome teens. it's bad enough now by not giving support ( and aid to relevant charities) you are encouraging this to spiral. My issue is not so much children centres closing and maybe being condensed into one hub it's the wider picture and the fact that some of the charities do the work that the social services can't afford to. They pick up the reins and step in when others will not but the impact of what they do should not be overlooked.
I acknowledge that things such as xmas lights, flowers, grass cutting are a luxury. I also believe though that the council are suggesting library staff ( and others) face redundancy how about those at the top taking a cut in wages ? many other businesses have faced restructure amongst every level and to stay afloat if that's what it takes . it is not a miracle cure but it would also be a gesture that those at the top also acknowledge that they'll need to bear the pressure of cuts.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The proposed budget for relocation and the savings from closing the mobile Library could be used to refurbish the existing Crown St library building into a refreshing inspiring Life science facility. By reconfiguring the existing Library to incorporate the suggested proposals ie IT* from underused Healthy living area in DC, toilet refurbish with baby changing, a cafe facility with character; the income generated could contribute to its future development.
These proposals are just reducing inspirational educational opportunities.
*Relocating the computers from the 'Healthy Foyer' in the Dolphin centre which have very little use , repeat of what is available within a Drs practise and save staff costs of the dedicated foyer staff. Admit it is a failure!!
Selling the family silver is just plain short sightedness.
Denying the towns folk access to a dedicated Public Library and IT facility. Plans are backwards in aspect of education and the value of learning from the past. Pease recognised the virtue of learning for the common towns folk and DBC should continue to develop facilities not withdraw simply based on funding and the lack of ability to think inspirationally. Why are the plans for closure of anything with a Heritage connection, the DBC don't maintain the property entrusted to their care demonstrates the lack of foresight that the further the buildings deteriorate the less likely of resurrection as funding has been wasted/spent elsewhere.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

While appreciating that the council is in a difficult position with poor central funding I must protest at the proposed cuts to the market and library. For a town the size of Darlington to lose these would be outrageous. We have lost so much cultural activity with the loss of the Arts Centre already that to continue this downward trend further is truly depressing. We would then no longer have any space to show the towns art collection which is rarely on show these days.
I recently found out that the towns museum collection is at The Bowes Museum. Once again our heritage but not in the town and not easily available. Even Middlesbrough which has surely more deprivation that Darlington has both a museum and a Carnegie Library which was saved from demolition by the townspeople who recognised its value.
The market should be being promoted as a a food hub for the area with local growers and suppliers bringing their food to a wonderful covered market which would encourage food tourism and othe business in the area. Look to the fantastic markets elsewhere in the country that often feature on the BBC Food programme. If they can do it elsewhere why can't we do it here? This fantastic, beautiful building must not be allowed to be bought by a developer who would turn it into goodness knows what.
The loss of these two would bring about further decimation of the town centre. It must be avoided at all costs. Appeal to Government for more money for these alone. Look to philanthropy for the library. If it was this that made the Pease family provide the library there must be plenty of charities and philanthropists who could get involved. Can a large company such as Amazon be approached. They don't pay enough tax but could be persuaded to support reading in this way.
Let's not just sit back and give up. There must be a way forward.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

This would be a better solution than closing both the library and the dolphin centre

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

sacrilege to sell this building.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I'll be honest, I've lived in Darlington 15 years and never been in the library even though I am an avid reader. If the library building is to be sold I hope it is for redevelopment - it would be sad to see it knocked down. Moving the library service into the Dolphin Centre does make sense in that it is more central - people are more likely to drop in, and the facilities in the Dolphin Centre are modern and would get more use, although more frequent cleaning of the toilets might be needed if they are more heavily used.....

Is there space to re-house the whole library collection?

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

YOU NEED TO STOP WASTING MONEY ON USLES PROJECT KEEP THE COVERED MARKET GET RID OF EAST STREET CAR PARK AND WHY WASTE TIME SELLING OF THE LIBRARYS JUST TO WASTE MONEY ON SORTING OUT A NEW ONE IN THE DOLPHIN CENTRE YOU NEED TO LOOK AT ALL THESE OVER PAID IDIOTS IN THE COUNCIL AND CUT THERE WAGES IF YOUR IN DEBT

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I fully object to this ridiculous proposal - the library is a beautiful, historic building that was gifted to the town and should be retained as is. It doesn't need a 'modern decor' or further children's facilities as it has lots of wonderful books, and the last thing the town needs is another mediocre council cafe staffed by expensive agencies. Shame on you - your disregard for this town's heritage is a disgrace.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I had a tour of the Library building last year to celebrate the 130 year birthday of the Library. On this tour we were told that when Edward Pease donated the money in his Will for the Library there was a Covernant put on the this that for ever the Library building could only be used as a Library for the people of Darlington and could not be used for any other purpose. How therefore can the council propose to sell this building even with consultation with the Pease family? Why does the Council feel the people of Darlington want a modern setting, have the councillors ever used the library building, the structure, the atmosphere, the history is unbelievable, much better than going into a modern building with plastic shelves holding the books I really hope the council are defeated on this proposed change to the Library. If the building was sold what potential could the building be used for, will it be left like the Arts Centre building and then pulled down, another step to removing any character that may be left of Darlington

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.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Crown Street Library (which is much more than a library) is the jewel in the crown of the town. It must be preserved for future generations and not put into commercial hands. Is public subscription/crowd funding a way forward? It should be publically funded. I would rather see the Unitary Authority go than Crown Street. Let's return to Durham County Council or the Tees Valley. We obviously are too small to have our own authority if it means all these cuts!

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

1. Having looked at your Dolphin Centre plans on line remodeled to accommodate the library, I found it difficult to locate exactly the space the library is intended to occupy. The pool didn't appear on the plans, so I couldn't identify the main entrance, for example, from the Market Place. Will the library occupy the vacated Registrar's premises? What is the library going to contain (other than, presumably, books)? Will the facilities be as comprehensive as the current library. It's difficult to comment with such a small amount of information available.
Personally, I don't have a problem with the relocation of the library, if the new one is substantially fit for purpose, such as containing (as within the current building) an IT suite for those without access to a computer, in order to complete applications for benefits, job searches, etc. This is a vital and well-used tool for many residents.
2, I understand that the current Central Library building will be offered for sale at around £300,000. This is a derisory amount for a building of huge heritage interest and value. (I read your note that the low estimate is due to the expense required for conversion. This is not a good enough reason, unless it is sold to the Pease family only). Otherwise, If sold, an amount approximating to the cost of relocating the library to the Dolphin Centre should be obtained - around £780,000 (your latest estimate). If you must get rid of buildings that are of some interest to residents, visitors, businesses, individuals considering moving to Darlington, there needs to something remaining in the town to attract these people. There will be a gap of around 15 months whilst the Civic Theatre is being renovated, so why would anyone, at present, move here other than for comparative low property prices and good access to transport links? The new Feethams contains nothing original; no USP for the town and could have a detrimental effect on, for example, the four excellent Italian restaurants, plus Indian restaurants and bars, which we already have in the town centre. What do you intend to do with the Odeon building when it closes due to Vue appearing? Bingo Hall, snooker, gaming/slot machines?

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I find the plans for putting the library in the Dolphin Centre very confusing. It would be useful to display the plans as the Dolphin Centre is now alongside the proposed plans, in order to be able to compare. The entrance, from the Market Square has not been marked. I don't know where it is. It's all very confusing.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

According to BQ (Business Quarter) November 2015 Darlington is prospering as ‘Its performance is being recognised at the highest levels, with a recent RBS report showing that Darlington had the best performing North East economy for the third consecutive quarter, beating all UK regional averages outside London’. The Chief Executive believes that ‘It is such an exciting time to be in and around Darlington’.
This is not a picture recognised by the ordinary residents of the town.

Joseph Pease built the Old Town Hall in 1853 as a gift to the town, and later added the clock tower and covered market in 1864 at a cost of £16,356 8s 9d. Edward Pease left £10,000 in his will which resulted in the opening of the Crown Street Library in 1885. According to BQ our leaders appreciate Darlington’s heritage ‘We have our forefathers to thank for the way Darlington has evolved so far and for some of the beautiful assets they left us Places like South Park, Crown Street Library, the Civic Theatre, Lingfield Point and the market square are gifts and it is out responsibility as a town to respect them, but also to innovate and make sure they can be used by future generations’.

Nine years ago the Council decided that the High Row needed modernising. They did not take any notice of the public outcry against their plans. The paving used needs cleaning regularly - at what cost?. The steps are dangerous and they are certainly not going to last a hundred years. The water feature has been expensive to maintain but that will be solved by having a water feature without water.

The multi-storey car park went over budget.

The latest project is the upgrading of the Civic Theatre which all sounded wonderful until we realised that it is not being funded entirely by the Lottery but the Council have to make a contribution. So it is proposed that any proceeds from the sale of our beloved Crown Street Library are to be put towards the shortfall. It seems that the scheme is too ambitious at the expense of our library. Also, as pointed out in a letter to the Northern Echo on February 13th, there appear to be design problems as the architects do not seem to have taken into account the need for an entrance in Borough Road and that the removal of the aisles could cause a serious nuisance. Two shops have been bought in order to create a cafe but who is going to go all the way to the Civic Theatre when there are so many in the town centre (shortly there will be even more in the Feethams development). How much is it going to cost to keep the theatre complex open all day ?

I understand that people will have strong feelings about all the cuts particularly if they affect them but I cannot believe that anyone could even contemplate selling the Crown Street library. Some people say it is only a building but surely it is as important historically as the theatre perhaps even more so.

If both the Crown Street Library and the Indoor Market are lost to the town I wonder what future editions of BQ will have to say.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Over the years we have heard about and seen closures to services in Darlington due to budget cuts.

I work within the private sector, and we went though our version of budget cuts during the credit crunch, and from what I see and read there are very different approaches to this tightening of the belt.

It seems in the public sector the answer to budget cuts is to stop providing a service, or sell the service off, so arts centre, market place, libraries, etc.

In the private sector the approach was very different, services we provided needed to remain in place, that is after all how we make money, instead we had to look at stream lining activities, and ultimately achieving the same output with fewer employees.
This is a harder task to achieve successfully accepted, it's easier to cut costs simply by no longer doing something that costs money, but it's by far a more profitable means to an end as you still encourage customers to return, therefore still see financial return on your investment.

Equally, this can be applied to everything, not just the areas you are looking to close, but those that will stay open, for example the Dolphin centre which I was supposed to read operates at a loss???
Applying these principles to something like this would result in instant gains, freeing up funds for other areas of the town which otherwise would end up at risk of closure.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)

I do not agree with the closure of Crown Street Library. The consultation has been pitifully inadequate bearing in mind we have known for over five years that we needed to save more money. It is only in the last few weeks, days even that it has become public that the proceeds from the Library are needed to support the Civic - where is the consultation on this? And that it is the Library or the Dolphin Centre - there has been no agreement on this by the town. It is unacceptable to bulldoze through such a significant and final proposal which will change the town forever. You must pause, give more time for consultation and other solutions and become more transparent in your dealings.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A town the size of Darlington needs a public library and art gallery.
it is an outrageous proposal to close this fine amenity. This biulding an dthe services belong to the people of the town,
and must be kept open at all costs.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I grew up in Darlington and this library was invaluable to me when I was a teenager and young art student. I'm now an author and illustrator - there is no doubt in my mind that having access to this library helped forge the foundations of my career, and my passion for reading and writing. I can't quite believe that a major town is even considering closing its main library. Libraries are not only about reading for pleasure or entertainment - they're about knowledge and opportunity, and are often the hub of a community. They are invaluable to people who can't afford to buy books - people for whom knowledge and opportunity may very well rely on access to books. Please don't close this important resource.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The funding for the library has been cut year on year so the quality of the range is less and less. There are several satellite libraries as well so I think to move into the Dolphin centre could be a good move. The current library is poorly used. I have been in on lots of occasions and been the only person in the book section apart from staff. Everything that happens in the library now could be done at the dolphin centre and could actually benefit both services.
Good move

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)


Moving on from the premise that cuts will have to be made, I would like to make the following suggestion.

I believe that the main way forward to keep our services (particularly cultural and recreational) open to the public is for the community to have a much greater involvement in running them, for funds to be raised through additional activities on site, together with exploring the possibilities of forming a Trust or something similar.

One idea could be as follows: Retain the art gallery, IT suite, Local Studies and Reference library as they now exist and which are mostly based in the original Central Library building.

Leave the entire basement archives where they are, which would save a huge cost in sorting out and removal (to where?). Many sections in the archives need to be available for people doing research or wanting out-of-print books, etc., on a regular basis. Therefore it would be useless to move them into a separate building, where they would cease to be of much use.

Move only the lending library and the children’s library (which DBC said would be an improvement on the current facilities, with soft play, etc.) into the Dolphin Centre. This should mean the full (possibly more) space enjoyed now in the lending section could be retained – maybe even with more books, as funds allow.

This would then release a large amount of space in the ex-lending and children’s libraries for other community uses. One in particular could provide accommodation for something like the Bridge Arts Project. The space could be divided into areas, and the gallery and other wall spaces could be used for Arts Projects exhibitions, which are likely to be seen by many more people than at their current premises. I believe that a town centre venue would be a much better location for the Bridge. The Bridge generates some funds, I believe which could, hopefully, be increased.
.
More funding could be raised by other groups using that part of the library; it could remain open for evening classes, which I don’t believe that it is at present. A small cafe for library users run by volunteers could raise more funds.

A small annual subscription, such as £5 per head, would raise most of the funding currently used to run and maintain the library. This may not be allowed legally yet, but should change if local councils have to become self-funding.

I understand that the estimated cost for moving the Central Library into the DC now stands at over £1m. This amount could be spent instead in continuing to fund the £300,000 p.a. (the current figure given for running the library) for three years whilst the new services became up, running and, hopefully, viable.

Lewisham has published a short document about Community Library Services, which ‘are an exciting development that sees council library services....run by community organisations, providing a mix of activities for local people’. This 'saves money by the Council transferring library buildings to the community and to reorganise the remaining service'.

Of course, as a Council, you need to be willing to consider proposals such as the one above and to enable the community to do something to help themselves. Please don't let Darlington fade into a derelict wasteland, which nobody wants to live in or visit. Wouldn't it be preferable for the council to be part of the town's revitalization and a more promising, exciting and vibrant future?

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Core EffR9 (Registrars)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Statement
We need to retain the Crown Street library and Covered Market.
Sell assets Dolphin Centre and Civic Theatre.
With the best intentions council tax has been too low for a long time, hence the shortfall in government funding with comparable councils in the South.
Move the registrars to the Crown Street library. A much better facility for Births, Deaths and particularly Marriages.
Saving money on alterations to the Town Hall. (the Registrars make money for the council).
With immediate effect place Ada Burns on redundancy notice. We cannot afford such a highly paid individual in the present circumstances. We appear not to be getting value for money.

Question
To maintain the status quo, i.e. retain the Covered Market and Crown Street Library, how much would council tax have to be increased?

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I regard the closure of the existing library's as a retrograde step in attempting to shoehorn these services into the leisure centre. The existing library premises are in an ideal position serving the people of darlington. Why spend £1.7m. In alterations when the Dollphin centre does not give accessibility to the disabled and the elderly. For examplle little or no bus services. Footfall would only be very limited
Financially you figures do not stack up spending , at this huge amount it would take 5 years or more to spend on the existing arrangements .
If you have that much space the leisure centre hire it out to other organisations

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The comment about disabled access is falacious as there is a lift on the corner of the building. the proposed cost (I heard £1.5m) money we cannot afford. Special. filters will have to be installed in the Dolphin Centre to protect the paper from deterioration more money we can't spare. how much will the expenditure be for this???

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

As the trust deed for the library states that the building can only be used as a library it will be very difficult to sell & therefore could well stand empty for a considerable time. In your calculations have you allowed for what may be large costs to maintain it & if so how much?
It has been stated that you could apply for the covenant to be removed but as the library was given to the town & not the Council this could be challenged particularly as there is such a strong feeling against closure in the town.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

Although you state that there will be over £300,000 saving per year by closing Crown Street Library your model for revised arrangements at Crown Street show that the saving would be £170,000. This is only the cost of one senior manager. Surely with all the unknowns in the move & the strong feeling in the town it would be unwise to go ahead with the closure.
As the number of employees at the Council have considerably reduced the senior management should be reduced more than you have proposed.
Are you reluctant to do this because in the past you have paid out very excessive redundancy payments far in excess of the statutory maximum of £14250? I note in the current proposals the redundancy pay is listed as TBC.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE4 (Civic Theatre)

We have been through this before with the Arts Centre. How much was the building sold for? What is the money being used for? Why not some for Crown Street Library?
How much did it cost whilst it was not being used as an Arts Centre?
Why are we paying so much for theatre Hullaballo when it is not specifically for Darlington children?
If the Civic Theatre refurbishment does not go ahead will that mean the will be more money available for libraries?
Apart from ambiance the library has good natural light which is good for reading.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Core LLE20 (Street Lighting)

To save the £170K to keep the library in Crown Street I suggest you investigate the following options;
1. Reduce the number of Counsellors - we do not need more than one active counsellor in our or other wards.
2. Turn off the street lights at midnight - research has shown that this does not increase crime or road accidents.
3. Remove free parking from all counsel employees.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

library opening hours presentation on your website is misleading the public.
The consultation is about moving the library to another venue, other use for the donated library building, staffing leveles, needs of the public etc.
Your heading on the council website is extremely misleading and probably attempting to be positive rather than give the FULL picture. .this is not transparency by the Council !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I should like to strongly object to the new proposals for the Dolphin Centre. The submitted ideas for the inclusion of library services removes two thirds of your squash provision.....which is my objection. Should it become necessary to move the library I should like you to rethink the provision as it stands....there is ample room elsewhere for books, children's reading and archives........I hear the 'hub' is over-subscribed......I'VE NEVER SEEN MORE THAN TWO PEOPLE IN THERE......EVER! Besides......the hub is a largely academic rather than physical provision and desks could easily be moved to a different locations....indeed....why not make this mobile.....AND TAKE IT TO THE STREETS OF DARLINGTON??

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Why has the Council been working on these plans for the Dolphin Centre without telling the people of the town.
There is little time now for the people to take in the shocking news, come up with other ideas etc.
No wonder it all seems untransparent as usual.
You have had all this time to propose amongst yourselves and plan. then it presented as a fait accomplis. Why then should we ever want to vote again for situations like this You wouldn't if the boot was on the other foot.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

While I am sure that a perfectly reasonable library service could be provided in the Dolphin Centre, the fundamental problem is that the people of Darlington love the Crown Street library building and love to use it as a library. The historic features of the purpose build library building enhance the experience of using the library facilities.

The fact that the proposals highlight ‘modern environment’ as a benefit of the move to the Dolphin Centre underlines that the council clearly have no regard for this point, but if you try to book a place on one of the massively popular Heritage Day tours of the library it is immediately obvious.

The floor area specified for Crown Street library would appear to be hugely inaccurate. I suspect that the vast storage area in the basement has not been included, so the proposals mask the truth of the amount of material which will be lost to the town.

Rather than simply reacting to one budget cut after another the councils needs to take an innovative approach. The suggestions made at the ‘Another Way’ public meeting may need a lot of work to bring them to fruition but it is clear from the public reaction to the prosed closure of Crown Street library that the council should make every effort to make them work. Allowing Darlington for Culture to have 6 months to put together a plan is the least that the council can do, if there is a genuine interest in making the proposals work.

The proposal for a community library in particular needs to be investigated. I understand that North Yorkshire County Council have already begun to successfully implement this arrangement. Bilton and Woodfield library in Harrogate is now a community library and work is ongoing to turn Catterick, Colburn and Leyburn library into another. Darlington council need to investigate this option and learn from what has already been achieved in North Yorkshire.

The proposal of Shaun Campbell to attract funding for a sporting heritage centre also needs to be investigated further. It would be more suitable to a location in the Dolphin Centre than in Crown Street but in principle it seems like a sensible suggestion. The council would be remiss if they fail to harness the energy and goodwill of both Shaun Campbell and Darlington for Culture, who appear to have achieved more for the town in recent years than have the elected members.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
FF 52f (Libraries – Local Studies)

I am a frequent user of the Centre for Local Studies. It is a fantastic resource. Much of the material is available for users to self-serve, either by accessing resources online, from the shelving in the room or on micro-fiche after a brief introduction from the staff.

This level of access must be maintained as it has low overheads and meets the needs of the majority of users. An appointment system will lead to a huge reduction in the use of the service as it will be impractical. Researchers need to be able to ask for additional material straight away, as their work uncovers new lines of enquiry. Having to book a second appointment will make the service very difficult to use.

I am concerned that it will be impossible to accommodate all of the archive material in the Dolphin Centre. The figures provided for the floor area of Crown Street seem to have excluded the vast amount of storage currently utilised in the basement of the library. Rather than shoehorning an inadequate service into the Dolphin Centre I would prefer to see the Local Studies Centre relocated to the Head of Steam, to tie-up with the existing Ken Hoole study centre and to form part of the Darlington Heritage Campus. This would free up space in Crown Street for commercial activities which would support the upkeep of the library service.

The alternative, which I expect would see the excess material sent to Durham County Record Office, would be a tragic loss to the town, for which the council should be ashamed.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

we think it is shocking because young people can not do there home work if the do not have a computer at home we feel so up set. the building has always been a library. please keep it open. Apart from the markets it is one of the things is why people come to Darlington. The library is also accessible for Disabled people. The library has a nice atmosphere, it is quiet so that we can concentrate, at the dolphin centre there will be lots of people making noise getting 'fit'.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

I note that you state that the move to the Dolphin Centre will cost £1.7 million which is the equivalent to 10 years of the savings for a reduced service at Crown Street.
This figure is very likely to be considerably exceeded if you look at the Council's record on previous estimates viz.
Pedestrian Heart
Haughton Road footbridge
Link Road
Multi storey car park
These large sums of extra money being required have occurred even though you have paid over the odds for your senior management who should have had the experience to prevent them occurring.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I do use the library services and I am very unhappy about the proposal to close the building and for the town to lose this piece of heritage.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

So the lovely market town of Darlington will become a public fly tip with a serious litter and dog mess problem with no heart left. I understand the need for cuts put too rip the town apart is of no economic benefit. I for one did not want the new cinema development, I prefer the Northgate Odeon, and I would rather still have the historic library and covered market, as well as other frontline services that are effected, but then I'm sure there is a lucrative property deal in the pipeline. Put as much rhetoric and political spin on it as you like but DBC you should be ashamed.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Disgusting this town council has no idea what it's doing Your proposing to get rid of the indoor market! Close the library! Cut funding Yet your opening a multi million pound cinema complex and new multi story! The roads around this town are full of pot holes and when you complain to the council to get bird neck fencing to protect the grass verges on Dunelm walk and bishops close this council decides line are better Get of your backsides out from behind your desks and look at the chewed up areas You have this multi million pound through a bout on haughton road that cost millions yet the traffic is grid locked always - save money make it a roundabout get rid of the 34+ lights on it and sell the lights Sort out the streets so our bus service runs and has better priority more people will use them! Try attracting business back to the high street so day time is busy and that the nightlife comes back to the town Sorry funding doesn't allow for that Disgusting the council should be ashamed to make announcements Your killing the town

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

I am very distressed by all the closures mentioned today what was the point of building a car park with 650 spaces when the town will have nothing left to visit no libraries indoor market , outdoor market and very few shops only phone shops and charity shops

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)

I have heard about the large amount of cuts the council has had to take and have a few suggestions. I believe the locals schools can play a key role in helping with the cuts and saving the services people still want. They can be used to supply the community with books and be used as youth clubs. Libraries Close all the libraries Move the books into the schools and open them for the public, after 3pm on a weekend and during holidays. Have a network of schools which an on-line data base showing if a book is at a particular school or is out with another member. To borrow books you must have a signed card. Books could be ordered from other schools. A smart phone can be used to scan the books and a simple software for logging (see using students) Youth clubs Close the youth clubs Use the schools halls and gyms for youth club events move to a paperless system allowing for work to be done by via computer equipment to be stored on schools. Using Students Design - Use creative students to design posters and adds IT - Ask computer students to create the software needed or hire one for part-time work on weekends - Cheap, students don't ask for much - They get to put the council on their CV - It shows the council are using local sources and giving opportunities to students

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W01 (Civic Theatre Break Even)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

John Dean Chair Darlington for Culture 07889 554931 The committee of Darlington for Culture met tonight (Friday Feb 5) to discuss Darlington Borough Council’s budget proposals and the damage they will do to the social cohesion of the town. We are outraged by the Government’s swingeing spending settlement and are throwing our full support behind The Northern Echo’s online petition to call for a Parliamentary debate on the spending targets that necessitated cuts to many crucially important services (to be found at http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/business/14255052.Sign_the_petition_to_save_Darlington_from_crippling_spending_cuts/) However, the DfC committee does not believe that the council should be completely absolved from blame and deplores the proposed closure of Crown Street and Cockerton Libraries and the withdrawal of the mobile library service. We remain to be convinced that the proposed replacement library in the Dolphin Centre will be anywhere near an adequate replacement. It is no surprise that the proposals to close libraries have sparked anger and Darlington for Culture will oppose these cuts because libraries are not just important cultural institutions but socially valuable and about much more than books. For readers, libraries are an important part of many people’s lives, enabling them to access books without having to pay for them, allowing people of all ages and all backgrounds to add richness to their lives. In addition, many children access books at libraries, supporting what often becomes a lifelong passion for reading. Closing Crown Street and Cockerton will adversely affect the lives of thousands of people, including the diverse groups that use these valuable community resources. Libraries host a wide range of community services and groups and all this is threatened. The computers contained in both libraries are a lifeline for many people who use them to apply for jobs, apply for benefits and access information. The proposal to scrap the mobile library alarms us as well because of the service it provides to schools and isolated communities. In addition, we fear that the decision will result in the loss of the town’s art gallery, which currently resides in Crown Street Library and which has attracted many thousands of people to view a wide variety of works of art. We will also be asking the council why, as has been reported, it is necessary to use savings from cuts to the library service to help fund the restoration of Darlington Civic Theatre. While we support the restoration of the Civic, indeed we submitted a letter in support of the bid for Heritage Lottery Funding, we remain concerned that the borough’s much loved library facilities may be sacrificed to plug an apparent gap about which we certainly had heard nothing. In the case of Cockerton Library, Darlington Borough Council has had several opportunities to work with the community over the past three years in order to devise a future for the Library and has failed to take advantage of them. Darlington for Culture has been one of the organisations ready to help with the right support and has been involved in many of the discussions. We urge the council to renew efforts to seek ways of working in partnership with the community to keep the library open because it is an important service for the people of Cockerton and neighbouring areas. We urge the council to look again at its proposals to close Cockerton Library and to reconsider its proposals for the library service in general. We also view with dismay the proposals to sell off or close the covered market which is such an important building in the town. We will be urgently seeking answers from the council to all these issues and the apparent gap in the Theatre’s finances. We will also be seeking clarity on whether further cuts to arts and culture are buried in the small print. Darlington for Culture is an organisation owned and run by individual and organisational members across the town. We will be calling a special meeting of our members to discuss how we proceed in the face of these devastating cuts.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

I cannot believe this council is even considering selling off the indoor market and closing Crown Street Library!!! I am appalled to say the least. What next!!

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I hope you don't mind me writing this email about the above subject. I do understand the council need to make cost savings. Unfortunately I am so saddened by the proposed closure of the Library. The point I am coming to is last year when it was the 130 years birthday of the Library I went on one of the tours of the Library and it was very good. On this tour we were told that when Joseph Pease donated the money for the Library a covernant was put on this stating that the Library would not be able to be used for any other purpose other than a Library for the people of Darlington. A couple of years ago when the council were trying to make cuts they were unable to touch the Library because of this Covernant. I don't know if you are aware of this fact?? I have been informed that this Covernant will be found with the original deeds.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
FF 53u (Wildflower Meadows Invest to Save Fund)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Cut W01 (Civic Theatre Break Even)
Cut W12 (Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Parks and Countryside Management)

Sir, with regard to your March edition of 'one Darlington' and the proposed council cutbacks, and feedback you requested. 1. Sell the Covered Market into private ownership a.s.a.p. ( It should have been sold years ago ), create revenue. 2. Close all Town Libraries. I am an avid reader and have two books 'on the go ' at anyone time yet I have not visited any library in town for over 25 years. I obtain my literature from Charity shops and the British Lions bookshop near Guru. I have an old desk top computer that has been upgraded three times over the years so I do not need to use the town internet facilities. 3. All Parks to be put to Lawns, Meadow, & Cut Grass. All Roundabouts to use spring flowering bulbs and summer flowering small shrubs, NOT bedding plants. 4. The Civic Theatre alterations must include enlarging the stage or performing area so that larger national productions can be shown, otherwise the £4 million spent will be completely wasted. If we still have the same small size stage area, what is the point in spending lots of money on new seats !! 5. Better use to be made of the Market Square which is an asset that just sits there year in, year out without creating revenue for the town. 6. Why are we spending over £20 million on rebuilding Red Hall Council estate ? The council has already spent millions over the years renewing houses on Firth Moor & Skerne Park estates. Is it the intention of Darlington council to just carry on demolishing council houses and replacing with new houses because the estates have become so rundown through ill usage by the tenants, who the Council have allowed to live there ? What is the planned frequency of council house replacements ( new for old ! ). Is it 30 years, or 40 or 50 before they are knocked down again ? My mother lives in a terrace house that she owns in Darlington that was built around 1900. She has had double glazing fitted and a new roof all at her own expense. However if her house was council owned it would, presumably, have been demolished in the last century and a new one built ? WHY IS THE BURDEN ALWAYS PUT ON PRIVATE HOME OWNERS ? Comment . 7. Bring the Darlington 1883 football team back to Darlington a.s.a.p. and return more revenue ( and Pride ? ) to the town. 8. The area of fields bordered by Park lane/ Grange Road/ and the River Skerne to be sold to private enterprise for development as a Sports Velodrome / Running Track to bring a sports facility into the town and create more income revenue. As for me, I am 61 years old, Darlington resident all my life, lived on Firth Moor Estate five years, Skerne Park Estate eight years, Albert Hill eight years ( with unlit toilet and coal house at the bottom of the yard and no central heating ). So just do what you have to do to balance the books and ignore all the 'weeping and wailing' that will inevitably follow.

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 EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

I appreciate that we are struggling with funding as an authority. Could I suggest cutting the salaries if some of the top posts. There are any number of people who would be interested in these posts even at a vastly reduced wage. We shouldn't give up the library - what about increasing the amount of council tax we pay?

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W09 (Creative Darlington)

I believe that the main way forward to keep our services (particularly cultural and recreational) open to the public is for the community to have a much greater involvement in running them, for funds to be raised through additional activities on site, together with exploring the possibilities of forming a Trust or something similar. One idea could be as follows: Retain the art gallery, IT suite, Local Studies Centre and Reference library as they now exist and which are based primarily in the original Central Library building. Leave the entire basement archives where they are, which would save a huge cost in sorting out and removal (to where?). Many sections in the archives need to be available for people doing research or wanting out-of-print books, etc., on a regular basis. Therefore it would be useless to move them into a separate building, where they would cease to be of much use. Move only the lending library and the children’s library into the Dolphin Centre. This should mean the full (possibly more) space enjoyed now in the lending section could be retained – maybe even with more books, as funds allow. This would then release a large amount of space in the ex-lending and children’s libraries for other community uses. One suggestion could be accommodation for something like the Bridge Arts Project, which I understand will lose its current home in Neasham Road. The space could be divided into areas, and the gallery and other wall spaces could be used for Arts Projects exhibitions, which are likely to be seen by many more people than at their current premises. I believe that a town centre venue would be a much better location for the Bridge, and that more funding could be raised towards the running costs. Funding could be raised by other groups using that part of the library; it could remain open for evening classes, which I believe isn’t the case at present. A small cafe for library and course users run by volunteers could raise more funds. An annual subscription of £5 per head for library users could raise almost the full amount of the running costs involved, especially if the town’s population increases. This is based on a prospective 50% of the population using this facility. I understand that the latest estimated cost for moving the Central Library into the DC now stands at over £1m. This amount would be better spent in continuing to fund the £300,000 p.a. (the current figure given for running the library) for three years whilst the new services became up, running and, hopefully, viable. Lewisham has published a short document about Community Library Services, which ‘are an exciting development that sees council library services....run by community organisations, providing a mix of activities for local people’. This ‘saves money by the Council transferring library buildings to the community and to reorganise the remaining service’. This is a document worth reading. I understand that the DBC has to be willing to consider alternative proposals to cutting services, in order for them to happen. I cannot believe that it would be in the Council’s best interests to allow Darlington to die and become a depressing wasteland of litter, vandalism, crime and no greenery (thinking of the proposed cuts to horticulture). Please don’t allow this to happen to our town. A town which encourages people to want to move into will, surely, generate more council tax, which it seems that the Council badly needs!

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I'm utterly disgusted to hear the council are proposing to close the central library. I am strongly opposed to these cost-cutting measures, as once sold that glorious building will never be a public space again. The Dolphin centre is a dismal pathetic alternative. It seems ISIS has nothing to worry about - the Tories are destroying British cultural heritage to save a few pounds. Perhaps next we should organise a weekly book burning to cut down heating costs.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

As a user of Darlington's library services I will be responding to your request for comments on the Council's proposals, but first I need more details. Those published by the Council so far are inadequate, I'm afraid. The form I spotted in Crown Street library last week (I had to search hard to find, and it is confusingly called a Service Survey), and the tiny display there (which people need to lean over a table to read), give no more than sketchy information. Strangely though, the Dolphin Centre - which is also affected by the proposals (and, contrary Council claims, not just the Registrar's Service) has no publicity material at all! When I asked about this, the reception staff and their supervisor knew nothing more than they had read in the Northern Echo. So my first questions are: Q1, What steps is the Council taking to fully inform and consult the residents of Darlington on its proposals (in their entirety, but specifically the library services) - as this probably the most far-reaching ever to affect residents? Will there be a Town Crier type of newsletter? Or something to be sent out with the Council Tax notices? Q2, What proposals are there to improve and draw attention to the existing 'publicity' in the Crown Street Library? Q3, What proposals are there to consult users of the Dolphin Centre, including users of the squash courts and the children's play area? Q4, Will the Council please publish alongside its proposals drawings for the Dolphin centre, the existing plans there, so that the changes there can be properly assessed? Crown Street library building has many constituent aspects. The Council needs to make clearer which it is closing, which it is relocating - and how much of the latter it is downscaling and to what extent. The Service Survey says that the services being relocated 'include': "lending library; children's library; reference library; Centre for Local Studies; library events; ICT facilities; public art display". An FAQ on the Council's website adds that "The proposed public floor space in the Dolphin Centre is comparable to what we have now at Crown Street." That all seems to be seems to be saying, "Don't worry; everything that is currently at Crown Street will be accommodated within the Dolphin Centre". But that cannot be true with such a significant loss of floorspace - more than a fifth of the total claimed 'public space' (the Survey says from 838m2 down to 651m2: a loss of 187m2 or 2,100sqft). And a lot more than that when storage space and the closure of Cockerton library is taken into account. The basement at Crown Street holds a stock of books, documents, photographs, newspapers, etc, which are an essential part of the running of the library as they can be, and are, called up on request by library users. The loss of floorspace at Cockerton will put further demand on the town centre facility. So, in respect of the basement at Crown Street: Q5a, What is the usable storage space (in m2) there at present? Q5b, What is the length of shelving (in m), and how many items are there? Q5c, How much of this material will be relocated to the Dolphin Centre? (The proposals drawings show no storage space there.) Q5d, What will happen to the rest of these items? Similarly, in respect of Cockerton: Q6a, What is the 'public floorspace' that will be lost when that closes? Q6b, What is the length of shelving (in m), and how many items are there? Q6c, How much of this material will be relocated to the Dolphin Centre? Q6d, What will happen to the rest of these items? Now some questions of the different aspects of Crown Street: Q7, The Art Gallery. In what form will this be relocated? Will there be a dedicated gallery area, or are you proposing merely to stick a few pictures on the walls? If so, will they be scattered around the library, or concentrated where they can be explained and supervised? Q8, ICT facilities. How many PCs are there in this area (ie. excluding the local studies room) at present and how many will be provided in the new library? Q9, ICT tuition. Will there be a dedicated area for tuition, as at present, and how will this be screened to avoid noise disturbance to others in the library? Q10, Centre for Local Studies. Can you please clarify your intentions for this, the element of the library that simply cannot be replicated by the likes of bookshops, cyber cafes or play schemes? The published information on this is confusing: the Service Survey says it will be relocated. But document LLE2 (Core Offer Budget For Libraries Service) on the website says "The Centre for Local Studies will be closed as part of the proposed core offer". Meanwhile another part of the website says "how the service will actually be delivered in a relocated central library is yet to be fully developed but it will have less open access than current facilities and may well involve appointment system for certain information (Reference: Cabinet papers, Item 6, paragraph 52(f))". If the local studies facility is retained but downsized: Q11a, How will its floorspace compare with at present? Q11b, How will the number of items available immediately, or on immediate retrieval from storage, compare between the present and as proposed (in no. of items)? Q11c, How will the number and type of study facilities compare between the present and as proposed (in terms of i) desk study spaces; ii) dedicated study computers; iii) dedicated study microfilm viewers; iv) other study equipment)? Q11d, What will happen to any documentary items that are not taken to the Dolphin Centre? Q11e, How will this area of quiet study be screened from noise and disturbance from other library activities such as children's activities and ICT tuition classes? Finally, to the lending library: Q12a, How will the number of items typically available compare between the present (at Crown Street and Cockerton, separately and combined) and as proposed (in no. of items)? Q12b, What will happen to items that are too numerous to be moved to the Dolphin Centre? Q12c, Will existing shelving be transferred to the Dolphin Centre, or will new shelving be bought? I'm sure the work that has been carried out to draw up the proposals will have needed the answers to such questions, so your officers should be able to supply them easily, together with the further information such as the existing floor plans of the Dolphin Centre. I look forward to receiving them, as I'm sure many other citizens will.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR9 (Registrars)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Darlington LG Branch of Unison would like to put forward some practical suggestions as to how to retain the Central Library at Crown Street. Some of the ideas could easily apply to Cockerton Library too. • The agency staff cost was around £3 million for 2015 (use of casual staff and overtime could offset some agency costs). Around 15% of savings on these costs would equate to the proposed savings for restructuring the library service. • Site an offshoot of the Dolphin Centre café within the library – Waterstones and other bookshops seem to make this model work for them. Not only will they pay for coffee but they will also be drawn to other services, local studies for example. There is a huge interest in local history, perhaps if more people were drawn to the library and shown how to access it then it could build footfall. • Site an offshoot of a community/voluntary service there – credit union, CAB, Age UK – at a charge • Offer pop up shop space or short term rental space for businesses such as Waterstones, Art Shop, Gallerina, House of Fraser, colleges, foot outlets, garden centre (Council grown flowers) etc. • Xentrall to expand their services and offer a chargeable IT support service to the public, possibly sited at Crown Street • If there is any space in the basement, they could rent out archive space to other authorities. • Co-locate Registrars in Crown Street along with the library. • Offer basement space to start-up businesses. • As has previously been suggested, offer the committee suite as accommodation to other public services. Income can be used to support the library. These are just a few of the suggestions that could help support the service, if there is a willingness to do so.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

I would like to make some comments on the proposed relocation of the Centre for Local Studies to the Dolphin Centre. As you know, we work closely with [...], local studies librarian, and you have a fine local studies collection which complements the Darlington archives service that we deliver for the Council under agreement in 1997, updated November 2010. 1 Security. From what I understand, staffing levels will be reduced. As much of the local studies material is unique and irreplaceable, or at least difficult to replace, it is imperative that proper security measures can be implemented in the local studies reading room. It may be difficult to properly supervise readers using the collection and at the same time retrieve items for them to consult from the storage areas. Readers should not be left unsupervised. 2 Storage space. Will there be sufficient storage space for the local studies collection in the new centre? This is an excellent collection, developed since the library was first built, and which local people have been able to easily and freely access since the library was first opened. If stock had to be reduced in order to fit into the new accommodation, this would be detrimental to the people of Darlington and the collection’s wider audience. 3 Storage conditions. Will the temperature and humidity be properly controlled in the new centre? Like archives, local studies material requires a stable temperature and humidity which is achieved in Crown Street. The effects of poor environmental conditions can be catastrophic as can be seen from the effect of a serious mould outbreak in Camarthenshire Archives, where the service closed for over a year: http://www.southwalesguardian.co.uk/news/11538402.Carmarthenshire_Archives_closed_following_mould_discovery/ http://www.carmarthenjournal.co.uk/Archive-service-threat/story-26898050-detail/story.html 4 If storage and front-end delivery is split, this results in delays in service delivery and inefficiency in staffing as staff are split between the two sites. A split site has been considered for a future Durham County Record Office and deemed to be more expensive to deliver. 5 Will the reading room be reduced in size. The current local studies reading room is sufficient for all the microfilm readers and indexes that are necessary for delivering the service. Although a digitisation project could be implemented for indexes and some of the records currently on microfilm, this takes time and considerable resources to implement.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

As a result of a conversation with Citizens Advice, I believe that a shared location between DBC Crown Street Library and the CA service could be mutually beneficial. CA can continue to provide rental income but Bennet House could be freed for reuse/resale. It brings a significant opportunity to mine funding opportunities because of the synergy between voluntary services and council services. Other authorities are using this model of service delivery, Newcastle authority for example. I would recommend that conversations take place between CA and DBC to explore this possibility a little further.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Core EffR10 (Local Taxation)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

The proposed cuts, though in large part a result of central government funding decisions, are also a reflection of mismanagement at a local level. In particular the council prided itself, before the cap on increasing council tax was introduced, on keeping charges at a low level (compared to other local authorities). We now see the results. Also, at a time of sweeping austerity and the scaling back of council services, how can the continuation of high salaries to top-ranking council officials, such as Ada Burns, be justified? The proposed cut to the grants to the Citizens Advice Bureau and Age UK - which is unjustifiable both on humanitarian and economic grounds - and to children's and adult services generally, while top-ranking council staff continue to pocket excessive salaries, really undermines the credibility of the Council's justification of the proposed changes. Darlington used to have a thriving Arts Centre, two libraries and a successful market. All are now closed or threatened with closure. Instead we have a soulless new commercial development at Feethams. I have lived in the town for over 30 years, but am now seriously considering a move away.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Darlington Dementia Action Alliance are a collaboration of organisations and businesses across Darlington who aim to improve the lives of those people living with dementia, their are currently over 34000 people in the North East diagnosed with dementia. Darlington is already recognised as a Dementia Friendly Community and Crown Street Library have been integral to us gaining this recognition by hosting the Dementia Hub. The dementia hub is an area of the library that contains information about dementia, support available within Darlington and is also staffed once a month with somebody who can offer suitable information, advice and guidance. The library was chosen for the hub because it contains lots of memories for people, historical books, pictures and it is easy for people with dementia to find their way around. We have also spent time with their staff delivering Dementia Friends sessions to ensure staff had a suitable knowledge base about dementia. Although we are not opposing the closure of Crown Street Library and we understand the reasons behind this we wanted to ensure the Dementia Hub continued to be part of the newly located library. To do this successfully we would like you to consider the following - Is the libraries new building dementia friendly? It is important for people coming into the library who may have dementia to be able to find their way around the library easily, to access the building easily and for the building to have suitable signage that is easily read. - Parking and access was always an issue at Crown Street and it would be great if this could be addressed at the location of the new library. - All staff need to at least have completed a dementia friends information session so they have a basic understanding of dementia. - Continue to host the Dementia Hub at the newly located library and ensure there is a safe place for people to find out more information about dementia. As a further suggestion we would encourage a focus group of people living with dementia to find out any requirements they may need to make it dementia friendly, how Crown Street Library could have been improved and ensure access is suitable. If the new location is within the Dolphin Centre it would be great to make the entire Dolphin Centre Dementia Friendly, we could certainly support in doing this. We can offer any support in ensuring the new building (and Dolphin Centre) is suitable for people living with dementia.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Please do not close the Library in Crown Street. I have been a member for over 20 years and visit weekly. I also took my children regularly and they are now keen readers, one is now a teacher and the other is at University. The move to the Dolphin Centre would be a backwards step and my concern is also for the beautiful old building in Crown Street probably the best building in Darlington to be sold for peanuts makes no sense. Another major concern is for the library staff jobs who have been faithful and helpful workers for the town over the years.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I believe it will be detrimental to the town to close the library or even relocate as you suggest , there are various ways to increase revenue and I think they have all being mentioned and they do deserve a try , this town is becoming worse every year and doesn't look likely to improve in the near future unfortunately, I now do most of my shopping in Stockton , the car parking is easier and cheaper and the shops are much much better and easier to access.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I agree with the proposal to close Crown Street and move the library service to the Dolphin Centre. I know that a lot of people have strong views about keeping the library at Crown Street , but I for one think this is a short sighted view. As a parent with two young children, I think the move to the Dolphin is a great opportunity to get my kids into the library more often, and for audience development in general. It will provide the opportunity to engage with people who ordinarily don't use the library service. I'm assuming that I'll also be able to have a coffee whilst my kids and reading the books. I'm not clear from the proposals if there will be the same amount of space for books, but surely if there is a reduced amount of space, with a revised layout and a small reduction in book stock things will fit in fine. I think that access to the library would need to be carefully considered, considering it will be on the first floor. One or two lifts may not be sufficient for the number of people who visit the library and who can't climb the stairs. I'm guessing with the cuts, there won't be plans to open the library for longer hours, but surely, if the situation ever changed, the move to the Dolphin Centre would allow for later opening, and Sunday opening - or maybe even community groups could be allowed to make use of the space on an evening.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
FF 52e (School Crossing Patrols Provided to Existing Standards)
Cut W02 (Eastbourne Sports Complex Break Even)

Crown Street Library must be kept at all costs.
Public Opinion: I have spent 3 full days in all weathers, with others helping, outside the Library, Wilkos, Post Office, High Row collecting signatures on the Echo coupons asking for more time.
People crossed the road to sign, queued up to sign, stopped what they were doing even with little children, shopping, on lunch break.
People were of ALL ages, gender, physical ability, ethnicity. From ALL OVER the town.
They spontaneuously and practically unanimously expressed their anger that yet another piece of Darlington's history was under threat.
That the Library building was important because it was given to the townspeople and they want to keep it as a library.
That they most certainly did not want to use a library in the Dolphin as it is an unsuitable environment.
There were teenagers, young families, all kinds of people, making these statements equally vehemently.
Some people were concerned about limited access - what if the lift breaks down in the Dolphin and they can;t manage the stairs. Some people don;t like lifts and can;t manage the stairs. There are already queues for the ground floor toilets at times and they don;t like lifts.
The overwhelming anger at the Council was shocking and upsetting.
It would be a grave mistake to sell off Crown Street that people will never forget.
Suprise was expressed by a single person in the public budget meeting that most people were there about the Library, that they were more concerned about losing a building than services for broken people. I have been told a number of times over the last 15 years that this is the Council's belief. I do not think your voters are with you on this and I have spoken to a great many.
We all know that we live in a digital world, and book borrowing is falling.
However there is a nationally recognised 'digital divide' of 20% of people who do not have access to digital services.
This is not a valid reason to close Crown Street. There is plenty of scope to revitalise the need for libraries as centres for equal, accessible, neutral, comfortable access to knowledge, learning, creativity, words in a comfortable space but with a digital emphasis and a cafe. The need for libraries to provide their traditional roles digitally is needed more than ever. It is also needed more than ever because of the increasing number of people arriving in our town with little or no access to our language and culture. The Library is a perfect place for them to be made welcome, and for us all to learn to communicate and share and value our differences.
The Library WILL be smaller despite claims that it will be the same. It will be less than half the size of Crown Street's ground floor. And there are no plans for where the archives, art collection and art gallery will go which constitute the other half of the space in Crown Street. Local Studies will be much reduced accessibility on an appointmenets system. This is despite the numbers of people using it last year being 17,200.
Alternatives:
£330,000 needs to be sacrificed from the Futures Fund to replace the funding that having the Library in the Dolphin would contribute to its costs. I suggest that this could be found:
£66K The Mayoral costs
£60K Eastbourne Sport Centre which is running at a loss, hoping to break even in 2021. This is hardly fair to accommodate another sports facility when the Crown Street is being put under threat.
£40K Festival of Thrift. I don't see this as adding greatly to the town.
£60K Interest from the proposed Loan which would be unnecessary if the Library stayed in Crown Street
£50K Halve the amount spent on stock every year by the Library.
£50K Replace some School Crossing staff with volunteers.
£325K

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I wanted to express my anger and disappointment at plans to move the library to the dolphin centre.Although I understand the need to save money this plan is wrong when so much money has been wasted on poorly executed non essential schemes such as the pedestrianization of the town centre in the past.If better use of council property is needed let the council hold its meetings at the dolphin centre and use the council chambers for the library.I urge the council to amend these plans so we retain a library befitting of this town not some small leftover shoehorned into an inadequate space.Education is a right and proper access to books in this digital age should not be removed or we will all be worse off.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The announcement of the planned £12.5m cut in expenditure in the Council's budget has driven us to write to the Council for the first time.

We appreciate only too well the constraints that have been faced in the light of Government spending settlements and resultant grant reductions. However, authorities are now seeing the dis-benefits of excessive borrowing in the past to incur expenditure beyond realistic means but the ways in which Darlington Council is now looking to address the requirement will do nothing more than diminish the little* this town has to offer.

The cultural and educational strengths of the town have been adversely affected in the past with the closure of the Arts Centre, which removed a core location for the multiple arts activity in the town and forced organisations to seek acceptable - but not as desirable
- locations; and in doing so, damaged the cultural cohesion of the town.

The town regularly claims to maximize the benefit of its railway and commercial history, epitomized through the many illustrious names most associated with this, but principally the Pease family.

So now, after being provided by Edward Pease as a gift to the town for the benefit of its residents, we see the Council proposing the closure of the library building (another architectural, cultural and educational facility seemingly seen to be fit for sacrifice), together with the closure of Cockerton library and the withdrawal of the mobile library service. The Crown Street library building is an iconic architectural feature of the town (one of a small number) and holds one of the best local history resources in the region. We see the maintenance of the local studies facility at Crown Street as being critical for those individuals from near and far who use its excellent services for a range of avenues of historical research and its potential decimation by the proposed relocation of the library into smaller space in a building being adapted to accommodate it is a disservice to all those who use it. Even allowing for a "fresh start" in terms of layout and facilities, we

remain to be convinced that the proposed replacement library in the Dolphin Centre will be adequate replacement facility. Once the level of services - particularly in the local history resource - is diminished and probably reduced, there is little or no likelihood of restoration.

Our opposition to the proposed cuts is, therefore, founded on both civic/architectural grounds and cultural/social ones. Uncertainty over the future of a fine civic building is unwelcome and the closing Crown Street and Cockerton will adversely affect the lives of thousands of people, including the diverse groups that use these valuable community resources. As Darlington for Culture has expressed previously, "libraries host a wide range of community services and groups and all this is threatened".

We do not believe that savings from cuts to the library service should in any way be used to help fund the restoration of Darlington Civic Theatre. If savings are being used in this way, and the Theatre's finances have discernible deficiencies, then the core support and learning provided by the library service is being undermined in support of providing entertainment- which surely is wrong.

Finally, the description of the proposed relocation into a "Hub" of activity, a piece of terminology which has recently surfaced in the media, is nothing more than a trendy effort to provide unsupportable justification for actions proposed.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Please keep our Library open. Our Library is very important. People need Library to learn. We love to get books from the Library and we enjoy reading.

Thank you for your help

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)

I am a resident of Darlington and totally against the proposal to the remodelling of the central library, the current site has great historical significance within our community. The Pease family gifted the building to the people of the town and we should be allowed to exercise our right to use the building as the covenant states.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I wish to add to the comments against moving the library to the Dolphin Centre. In no way can the proposal match the beautiful building we have now that is part of the fabric of life in Darlington or the services provided.. The Arts Centre has gone, the market is diluted. Please try very hard to come up with a better plan to keep this Darlington icon, otherwise the town become some blah nothing with no character or institutions of distinction.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

don't change the library listen to the people of the town, we are in disbelief we are in shock, we aren't in agreement please listen to us.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W02 (Eastbourne Sports Complex Break Even)

If part of the plan is to increase footfall in the Dolphin Centre this could be achieved by closing the facility at the Eastbourne Sports venue? The library is part of our heritage and should remain so.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The actual revenue savings proposed have been raised already and I would add to this concerns over the non accounting for costs of maintaining an empty crown street building and indeed if a cost so obvious as this has been excluded what integrity rests with the rest of the numbers. For example what consideration has been given for the probable reduced revenues from the Dolphin Centre whilst any changes are made.

Further to this I would request clarity on the compared capital costs which are given as £800 - £1m for Crown Street and £1m - £1.1m for the changes to the Dolphin Centre. I would ask what is included in the £800 - £1m for Crown Street and look for clarity as to which of this is really necessary and what could be saved from this estimate. In addition what of these costs would be required to be spent anyway to make the building fit for sale should an alternate use agenda be able to be followed. (Legal questions remain on this). The proposed capital costs of changing the Dolphin Centre should also be made clear as the council do not have a good history of controlling this type of expenditure. (eg The Pedestrian Heart cost over runs).

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)

Please don't vandalise Darlington's heritage and deprive our children and future generations of this link to a more generous and aspirational past. Crown Street Library is such an imposing building and for a child it must be like entering a brick castle, very exciting and a little bit scary, perfect for exploring the world of books. The Dolphin Centre is for splashing about in, not inspiring the imagination.
Cutting Councillor Allowances would be a popular cut; Councillors in the 1950's and 60's were lucky to get their bus fare to the meetings after a day's hard graft.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)

I find it incredible that proposals to close libraries and withdraw support from citizens advice bureau whilst councillors continue to take £645000 from council taxes to pay their
Allowances.It is time that they stand up and be counted by waiving all or part of their allowances or resign to allow people who will act in a more responsible way. Could
sponsors be found to keep the mobile library going eg for the fuel repairs etc.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Core LLE13 (Refuse and Recycling Collection and Waste Disposal)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

1 Retain Crown St library. Use the space earmarked within the Dolphin Centre to provide office accommodation for DAD and CAB etc. This would reduce their running costs and allow for the renting out of their original offices. 2 Reduce the costs and red tape of refuse disposal in order to help reduce the higher costs of cleaning up fly tipping and subsequent legal action. 3 Increase the area of responsibility of each councilor and thereby reducing the cost of councilors.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I think, as one of the minority, that the move of the library to the Dolphin Centre is very positive. The current library is outdated and access is not easy,especially for adults in wheelchairs; the shelves are too high, the flooring awkward, the toilets awful. In the Dolphin Centre the shelves are likely to be of a better height, the flooring smoother and more easily cleaned and the toilets are reasonable (not brilliant) there too. The current building is so high the heating bills must be astronomical. The lift is claustrophobic and so small as to be difficult. Baby changing facilities are basic (the baby change room in the Dolphin Centre needs a cleaner carpet, free of stains, as do the feeding chairs!) and will be better in the Dolphin Centre. I will very much support the move

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Crown St Library:
1) I oppose the transfer of this facility to the Dolphin Centre. The current library location is well known and accessible to the public. It is extremely doubtful that similar facilities could be set up in the Dolphin Centre without creating a reduction in current facilities at those premises. The general public would not attend the Dolphin Centre for library services in the same numbers as currently attend the Crown Street library.
2) it is understood that the Crown Street library was gifted to the People of Darlington. Is the Council confident that it has the legal right to dispose of such a property?.
3) The anticipated selling price of the property seems extremely low for such premises. Is the valuation realistic.
4) What would a purchaser do with the premises. The town certainly does not need a further public house or eatery.
5) What restrictions will the Council place upon a purchaser to preserve the architectural features of the library?

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Please please take advantage of all the work put in by DfC to find another way for CrownStreet Library. The building is an important part of Darlington's heritage and something which makes the town different and worth visiting. (Unlike restaurants belonging to chains e.g.) One day the financial situation will improve - but once lost, Crown Street Library cannot be restored. When collecting signatures in town I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of people who could not wait to sign the petition. Everybody had a story to tell. The one I remember best was from the mother of an autistic five year old, who loves the library. She said she could never take him to the Dolphin because it is too noisy and hectic for him. Do try some creative thinking, please!! I attended the public meetings. I know there is strong feeling that the vulnerable need to be prioritised. But they are among those who most need the library where it is. We need to think about Darlington's attractiveness as a destination. This is wealth-creating and only if the town prospers will we have enough money to look after the most needy.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I strongly disagree with this proposal and protest.
- Dolphin Centre: this is NOT a core funded service, yet it is costing so much to run. it seems to have an awful lot of spare space. £3m has just been spent and another £2m is needing to be spent on its upkeep. It needs to focus on funding its core spaces, that seem to pay for themselves, and let out the rest of the space. It is just not financially sustainable, a massive drain on resources and I can;t believe all this money is being poured into it, the Library core funding as well. Crown Street is not the problem, the Dolphin is. It needs to stand up financially. What other services will be next to feed it?
- The Dolphin is an alien environment for a library which is about creativity, learning, thinking, reflecting. A Sports Centre is about competition, physicality, noise and excitement. The two do not mix.
- The Dolphin is a 1970s cavernous building, not built for comfort. It is an extremely poor substitute for the Crown Street building and could never have anything approaching the welcoming comfort of Crown Street.
- I do not agree with any of the proposed advantages of the Dolphin: toilets: ground floor - there is one cubicle and there is always a queue, especially as this is the alternative to the closed town centre toilets. First floor 3 cubicles. As always with modern faciltiies in public places they are incredible small and poor ventilated and I avoid at all costs if i can. The Crown Street toilet could fit 6 modern toilets in it. Its very spacious, clean, fully accessible with baby changing facilities and if i have to use a public toilet this is my preference. Increase childrens space: There is a big space already in Crown Street in an airy room with good atmosphere. Cafe: I could not see a cafe apart from the existing Dolphin cafes. These would be unsuitable for quiet browsing of books and conversations.
- Library in the Dolphin. Will be difficult to soundproof. It is bordered on one side by Plant. Another by the squash courts. Soft play underneath. Even the pictures do not look attractive. I have used modern libraries. They are functional at best. Crown Street is so much more.
- SIZE: the Dolphin library will be 70 Square Metres SMALLER than the GROUND FLOOR of Crown Street. I wonder whether it will be big enough to accommodate any increase in use!
- Archives: are much used and appreciated - almost twice as many people used them in the last year than borrowed books. Yet there is no clear provision and this will be a serverely reduced service as well.
- Opening Hours: this is a misleading so called advantage. It may be open for longer, but there will be much more automation. I cannot see there is the demand for longer hours. I can;t see it is an advantage that will mean anything to anyone who does not want to lose Crown Street.
- Heritage: People care about the Library in Crown Street. But from the hundreds I have spoken with, it seems to me that at least as many, if now more care and value the heritage value of the building. This building as a library must not be lost to this town. If anything, I consider this the most important aspect. Other ways must be found to fund the Dolphin Centre.
- Lack of investment: Yes, everyone knows books are being abandoned in favour of digital media. But what has been done to address this - and inparticular to address the national digital divide where 20% of people do not have proper computer access. Studies commissioned by Governmnet show that the need for the core values of libraries is needed as much as ever - a neutral accessible space for all to learn and access information. Now this is increasingly being done digitally, then libraries need to be refreshed and revitalised to enable this - not shoehorned into a Leisure Centre! Recent news reports have stated that book sales are beginning to grow again as against downloaded books. And Waterstones is trading increasingly well, making a profit this year. As the advice to Government shows, a retail style environment will attract people as well as digital information. It would be a mistake to justify selling the Pease Library just because book borrowing has declined. This is short sighted and not a long term solution. I predict library use will fall if it is put in the Dolphin centre.
-Access: this proposal discriminates against less mobile people. so many stairs. what happens if the lift breaks or people do not like lifts. Thereis a lift at Crown Street and far fewer stairs.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I feel the proposal to move the main library from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre is short sighted. The beautiful Crown Street Library is one of the unique features of our town centre. If our town centre is to prosper, and we are to attract people in, we need to have things worthy of visiting. I didn't grow up in Darlington, where I grew up there was a library in a shopping centre, and I have no particular feelings of affection towards it. Whereas I have only lived in Darlington 10 years and absolutely love Crown Street library. It is such a special place, particularly for introducing children to books. When we have visitors we frequently take them to Crown Street library including visiting the art gallery. Without this and the markets, there's not a lot to take people to visit in the centre.

It is also a place that serves the less well off, and most vulnerable. It is a place where everyone is welcome (even people who have been barred from the dolphin centre). As the impact of the other cuts begin to be felt, this would be a true safe haven for people, and could be used for all sorts of support groups. I genuinely don't think some of the people who visit would feel as comfortable and likely to visit at the Dolphin Centre.

As times get tough, we need to be thinking how to get the most of the assets we have, not get rid of them. There is huge potential to make even more of Crown Street and what is on offer there. The council have not given it a chance to generate an income, eg with a cafe, and do not market events well enough, or charge sufficient for events / tours etc. At the same time efforts should be focussed on what other options there are for making the Dolphin Centre generate more income and reduce costs further. For example has DBC carried out research on what facilities / activities other leisure centres in the country are offering that are proving profitable - and are there any of these that we don't currently have in the Dolphin Centre? Or are there any existing activities in the Dolphin Centre that are making money, but have capacity constraints. For example softplay parties always seem busy, but there only seems to be one room for the party food, thus limiting the parties to one per hour. The work to move the library has shown that considerable space can be made in the Dolphin Centre, so it would be prudent for DBC to now take some time to evaluate whether there are any other potential ways of using that space that could in fact put us in a better financial position than if the Library were to be moved. Often the people who have the best ideas are staff and customers, but there doesn't seem to have been any consultation with users of the Dolphin Centre as to what services they would like to see, or any suggestions they have for making cost savings / generating additional income. Please take time to pause and thoroughly assess all the possibilities rather than continue on the current course just because its one solution that has been found elsewhere to save money / increase footfall. It might be right for other towns / cities, but it just may not be the best option for our town if all possibilities were properly explored. I understand that things need to move quickly, but by pausing for a few months, we may end up in a much better financial position than the option currently on the table.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Please do not move the library from Crown Street as I can imagine you will lose a lot of readers. I realise that the hope is people will go to the Dolphin Centre for a swim, or use the gym, have a coffee, then pick up a library book as they leave. However, at Crown Street they will probably have come past three coffee outlets on their way to the library, including Wilko. There are only about six steps up to either of the doors and on the main entrance there is also one of those special chairs, whose name I am afraid I do not know. There is also a lift. Toilet facilities are more than adequate. At the Dolphin Centre there are many more stairs, plus a lift. If the lift is out of order, the people who would have hauled themselves up the few stairs at Crown Street would not do so at the Dolphin Centre, particularly if they use a walking stick or a push chair. I did overhear one lady in the Dolphin Centre, on seeing the small queue in the ladies' loo on the ground floor and being reminded there were others upstairs saying "I've got a push chair and yes, there is a lift, but I am claustrophobic". There could be quite a queue for the lift by non-claustrophobic mothers with pushchairs. I wonder if the idea is to close the library altogether -if it is, moving the library to the Dolphin Centre is an excellent way of doing it as it will haemorrhage readers.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The Edward Pease Free Library is part of the culture of our town and should be used as our central library, the purpose it was gifted to us for. No-one has any right to destroy this part of the town's heritage.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I support the DFC proposal to set up a CIO to run Crown Street. Their business plan is robust and this way we save a building to which many have an emotional attachment.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I sincerely hope that the council listen to the people of Darlington and make the choice to not relocate Crown Street Library to the Dolphin Centre.

Darlington has lots of new venues that have opened up to generate increased income and entice more people to visit the town. New bars, clubs and gyms are popping up every second and there are always new proposals for what business will be coming to town - where is the consideration for what Darlington already has??

Crown Street is a beautiful and historic building which has housed the library for as long as I can remember. I spent time there as a child and now as an adult, I spend time there with my own child. He adores the library, he has a safe space to enjoy books and have the bonus of a calm, quiet environment. He will not get that experience in the Dolphin Centre.

My son finds soft play very loud, busy and overwhelming. The idea quoted that children can "play, read a book, swim and have tea" as a treat is absolutely ridiculous and confirms that the only real motive for the council is money! Some children do not want soft play, or cheap and bland food options as a treat. Some children genuinely want to enjoy reading in a venue that they already know and love and the sooner the council realise this the better for the people of Darlington.

Some of us would rather have an education, beautiful architecture and children with a love of reading than a town of binge drinkers and a cheeky nandos...

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

In reference to the closing of the Crown Street,cockerton and the mobile library to prop up the dolphin centre is totally wrong.the council should be looking for ways to increase footfall and revenue at the dolphin centre instead of taking the easy option.
The people of Darlington do not want the library in the dolphin centre which in my opinion will not work as I understand it's going to be under the central hall where there is a lot of fitlab classes with loud music not conducive to a peaceful environment.

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.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

crown street libray is a darlington institution.the building has character and history.to move it to a leisure centre is sacrilage.i totally oppose it and so does my family and friends, i have spoken to no one who wants this to happen.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Where is the equality in the move to the the Dolphin centre?. This move will not cater for a very large portion of Darlington & the villages needs. This town needs both facilities in Separate buildings.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Re: Crown Street Library.
Will these comments really be put forward for consideration and discussion ? There have been many alternative proposals and an excellent, detailed proposal from Darlington for Culture. The feelings of the people in Darlington concerning the possible closure of the libraries are strong, heartfelt and passionate. The Council will lose thousands of votes if you decide to move Crown Street LIbrary and close Cockerton library.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

I am opposed to 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. My reasons for opposing the proposals are as follows:

1. Crown Street Library was a gift to the people of Darlington by the Pease family to remain as a library forever. The building has a covenant on it which protects it as a library forever Trying to get the covenant lifted will take a long time and will be very expensive for the Council. There will undoubtedly be a large number of objections when it comes before the Land Tribunal for adjudication.

2. It would be foolish to move the library from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre with so many issues unresolved. No one is going to buy the Crown Street building with a covenant still unresolved.

3. The Council do not have the right to sell the Crown Street library building because it belongs to the people of Darlington. The Council are the custodians of the building.

4. 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.

5. There is no indication from the Council what the Crown Street library building would be used for if the Council does manage to get the covenant lifted and move the library to the Dolphin Centre. 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.

6. Crown Street Library is well used and is greatly loved by the people of Darlington which has been clearly demonstrated by the demonstration in Crown Street and the large response to the campaign by the Northern Echo.

7. 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 70 square meters smaller than the ground floor of the Crown Street Library.

8 Cockerton Library is well used not only for library purposes but as community hub for other services.

9. The proposals for the Local Studies Centre at Crown Street Library lacks clarity. It has been suggested that the contents will be dispersed to other Council buildings and people needing to use the service will have to make an appointment. This will discourage people from using the service. The current walk in arrangements which is extremely popular should be retained.

10 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 because the frequency of bus services have been cut back severely.

I fully support 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 libraries.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Please please find a way to keep our libraries open without relocating to the Dolphin Centre, my children are bookworms and love going to Crown Street and Cocckerton libraries. They think Crown Street Library is a magical place and love the fact the myself and my parents have all used it since we were children too.

Why not incorporate a cafe in it or have an area where craft groups can meet. I have recently learnt to crochet but there don't seem to be any local groups in Darlington and it's becoming very popular.

Crown Street library is a beautiful building and deserves to kept as a library so the next generations can enjoy and marvel at the wonderful atmosphere it has, like you have done with The Civic Theatre. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I believe that the closure of Crown Street Library would be a disaster for the town of Darlington. It is one of our most loved buildings and was gifted to the town to be a library forever. A library is about more than books, and our precious library has something for everyone. It has a quiet space for learning as in the reference library, a place where children can have fun and learn to appreciate the written word, a mine of information in the local studies area, a place where people can access computers, and a lovely and well used art gallery. I also believe that the basement houses the town's archives and art collection. I have tried to register for a tour, but this has proved to be difficult due to the numbers of people who have shown an interest in this building. It would be impossible to replicate this in a sports centre. Perhaps there is a need to use the building to its full potential, and proposals have been put forward detailing a plan to do just this. I have spent three mornings encouraging people to sign the Northern Echo's petition, and almost everyone disagreed with Darlington Borough Council's proposal. People were queueing up to sign. The strength of feeling was incredible. I realise that severe cuts have been made to the amount of money available to the council, but consider that things could change in a few years time, by which time the decision could be irreversible. I also oppose the cuts to Cockerton Library and the mobile library, but if sacrifices have to be made I would prefer it if the main library was saved. I would ask that the council listen to the people of our town, seriously consider the alternative proposals put forward by Darlington for Culture and please, please, please ditch their plan to destroy part of our heritage.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The proposal to close the Crown Street building is a very bad decision. The Dolphin Centre is not a suitable venue for a library. The cost of adapting a space in there alone is prohibitive. The proposed area is just not large enough for such specialised facilities as offered by the existing library building. Provision for the storage of the archives and the town's art collection which will be costly too. Also not only will it not save money it will end up costing more money to keep the building secure while it stands empty as it will be difficult to use it for any other purpose because of the covenants on it.The security needed for the Art Centre building is a prime example. The cost of any legal fees to try to remove these will be extortionate too as legal challenges by people opposed to it will be inevitable. I believe there has been a serious business proposal by a community group put in and I think that this should be accepted and given a fair trial period before any further moves to close the Crown Street Library. If it can be made to be self financing there will be no need for closure.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I am completely against the plans to move the library into the Dolphin Centre. It is a building that was donated to the town by the Pease family and should remain that way. The Dolphin Centre looks grubby and dated and I believe that the best way forward would be to sell the Dolphin centre off to an investor who could give it an over haul and bring it back to a decent state. I've spoken to a lot to f people who have all said they don't use the facilities there because it looks dirty and would rather travel to other towns or use private gyms.
With regard to extra funding for the library there is many options available that have come to light with help from supporters of the library. One example would be to remove the position of Mayor, it is an expense we could certainly live without. Another would be to reduce the amount of free travel for secondary school children. I believe that children in the town have other ways of travelling to school and the service should be scrapped for them. I do believe that either free or a low payment option for pupils outside of town is a good thing, also to keep the travel arrangements for special needs pupils. The many thousands of pounds that is used for this could easily help the library while also reducing the carbon footprint of the town.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

My main concern is the fate of our wonderful library.
This building is not DBC's to sell or even consider selling!
It does not belong to you, it belngs to the people of Darlington!
To sell it could probably be considered theft!!
We need this facility in the town, it has so much more to offer than merely books.
Much better to spend money here than on the Dolphin Centre, a good building for its designed purpose,mcertainly NOT the building to hold our lbrary!!
The Dolphin Centre should be made to pay its way, NOT be allowed to go on being the recipient of what seems to be a bottomless funding pit!

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The library at Crown Street is a valuable and well used service, I am strongly opposed to the service being relocated to the Dolphin Centre.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I feel the need to comment on your proposed cuts to the library services, in particular in terms of the closure of crown street.

This building was left to the people of Darlington and not the council of Darlington, it is there for the benefit of the people and not to help the council with the financial situation which they have got themselves in.

There is a an alternative proposal which has been pulled together by friends of the library and i feel that you should give this serious thought given the cost to the council to continue to secure and maintain crown street until a new buyer is found and the cost to remove the convenant for which you will recieve numerous objections! In addition the costs to re-locate the library service and storage of the archives really mean that any savings you for cast are likely to be a long way off and if crown street can't be sold you could end up spending more on crown street as a closed building than a working library. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/may/22/lambeth-council-closed-libraries-security-guards

You are also spending significant money on converting the dolphin centre space for a non profit service, surely given the new restaurants and cinema you would be thinking more along the lines of chargeable entertainment services, due to proximity a bowling alley, arcades, laser quest etc would be a great addition and make Darlington centre a place for people to visit for entertainment and shop.

I really hope you give the alternative proposal some serious consideration, you can add a number of income generating services to library such as those referred to in the alternative proposal.

As a resident of Darlington born and bred I request that you please give the alternative proposal serious consideration.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Keep the ******** Library where it is. It's been there for over 100 or so years and has served us here in Darlington well for all of that time. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Dolphin Centre is a sports and leisure centre, not a ******* Library. Whoever dreamt up this plan must be living on a different planet from the rest of is here in Darlington. I think somebody ought to question that person's suitability for standing up for what makes this town what it is. They obviously have no idea, do they? I agree with closing Cockerton Library. as that's an eyesore of a building, and the space it occupies could be much improved, even if it were just converted into green space. However, if the Library in Crown Street were to go, that's yet another of the decent buildings we have in this town having been taken away from us, in the same way as what has already happened to the Arts Centre. That should never have gone, either. It's just a case of applying some common sense here, which nobody in our council seems to be able to do.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Closure of the library does not stack up financially, the cost of relocating and leaving the crown street empty is not the right way to spend our money. You need to consider how the community can support the existing libraries with new initiatives and champion those.

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.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Why are DBC borrowing their way out of debt in an unwanted proposal. It has been rejected by over 7000 objectors to the relocation idea and primarily being put forward just to hide the Dolphin centre losses. Isn't it time the Council and their Advisers listened to their voters and accepted that Darlington is a Hertitage based town not a City with ideas inappropriate for the Residents needs. The proposed extension of opening hours is off set by a smaller library choice and compromised Local Studies - WHY, because the planned space is far too small! Privacy is compromised whilst using the IT in the proposals, and white shelving will have an ongoing intense cleaning requirement! Has a decibel reading of music used in Fit Lab been taken and must be considered as a priority users over the quiet Library study needs?
Has an air test within the proposed Dolphin Library area been commissioned to give Councillors the accurate readings of humidity and chemical presence? The British Library publish facts on the preservation of reference books, and details any humidity over 40'/. causes rust from the iron in ink and within old paper which causes foxing!

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I urge the council to consider seriously the proposals submitted by Darlington for Culture in their document 'The Future of Darlington Libraries'. I feel that the council proposals will create an eyesore on Crown Street which will cost a lot to secure and at the same time make access difficult for library users such as the elderly and teenage students.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Over the past 20 yearsDarlington has lost many cultural assets both physical i.e. the Arts Centre and temporal i.e. adult eduction classes taught at Bennet House. Darlington cannot afford to lose more. In an economic depression the council should not give away historic buildings.
The market should be council owned but not council run. The stall holders are all business people and quite capable of running the market more efficiently.
Crown Street Library should be retained and be a hub. The council should take the opportunity of working with Darlington for Culture and it's positive proposal. The building provides space to have commercial space and even other charities who offer advise.
If any council asset should be sold it should be the Dolphin Centre. The council should retain the Central Hall block and sell the rest. The Dolphin Centre is not the only sports centre in the town. There is another swimming pool open to the public as well as another sports centre. There are also a number of commercial alternatives. There is only one Market Hall and only one library service with no private alternatives. If the council proceeds with combining the library and the Dolphin Centre , the work to install an extra floor will disrupt the smooth running of the sports centre. The town's people will vote with their feet and seek other provisions ( like the remodelling of the centre ) and not return. This will kill what little life remains in our town centre.
We need to fight to save what makes Darlington a pleasant place to live in and visit.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Please don't close the library and sell the building. There is only one library building and lots of swimming pools so why save the swimming pool? Darlington is a proud Quaker town and needs to make sacrifices to save its iconic buildings. The library service can adapt to a digital age more effectively in a purpose built building. Loosing the goodwill of local people will do permanent damage to the councils already poor reputation, despite all the positive things it does for the town.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Our library belongs to the people,built for us so we should be listened too and all the suggestions taken seriously.
Darlington will have very little heritage soon.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

The library should stay at Crown Street. The library provides really valuable services for children, adults and families, including helping children to grow up with a love of reading, which is so important for future attainment and educational success.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)

Completely against the library closure, because I don't think that it is the councils right to do so. I don't believe that enough has been done to explore other options and uses of the facilities. I use the library and I don't believe a dumbed down version will work correctly. I don't believe we need 50 councillors in the borough of Darlington we need to run the council I modern way. More thought needs to go into keeping this library open for the people it was donated for, people need a proper library facility for which they can better themselves. Bill you should do the right thing and reserve your decision.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Letter regarding the proposal to relocate the main library to the Dolphin Centre

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FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

A letter about the importance of the market and the library to the town

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A letter about the relocation of the town library from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A letter about the proposals for Crown Street Library

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A letter about the proposals for Crown St Library

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FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Letter about the proposals for Crown Street library

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FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Letter about the proposals for Crown Street Library

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

A letter about the suggested proposals, including Crown Street library and Cockerton Library

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
FF 52f (Libraries – Local Studies)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

A letter about the proposals for the library and local studies services

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A letter regarding the library survey

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Letter from Darlington Unison Local Government Branch regarding the budget proposals and containing suggestions.

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W13 (Street Cleaning and Environmental Crime)

Letter about the the proposals for the library, street cleaning and wages

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FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Letter about the proposed changes to the library service

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)
Cut C06 (Cease Drug and Alcohol Floating Support)

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

People matter. Broken people, vulnerable people. The anonymous and ordinary people, the high-profile public servants, they all matter. I’m conscious that so much of the passion that has been provoked by these budget proposals has all been centred on buildings. I do not believe that Darlington will be poorer if the Central Library is relocated. I do not believe that Darlington will be poorer if the Market is in private hands. I do not believe that Darlington will be poorer if the mayor doesn’t have a nicer car. But it will be different. However, Darlington will be poorer if it doesn’t provide support for its most vulnerable citizens - those with drug and alcohol problems, those who have been abused. I’m not talking in financial terms, though of course the chaotic drug user costs the community about £70k a year if there’s no intervention. I’m talking about the moral poverty of our town. We are all diminished by such things. Close to £228k is allocated in the Future Fund to the Head of Steam. Enough to pay the salaries of nine support workers, who in turn support up to 100 vulnerable people. I believe in the people of Darlington, I believe that the solution to the issues we’re confronted with lies within our hands and we have the capacity to answer it. I want to see a future where people take responsibility for the vulnerable members of our community. Is it such a preposterous idea to ask a volunteer motorist who has a vintage car to provide transport for the mayor? I have great sympathy with those who are having to impart this dreadful news to the people of Darlington. Could I urge that the council look again at the allocations within the Future Fund? Look at it as if they’ve never seen it before, stand back from it and ask yourself whether it’s people that matter or is it buildings? Buildings exist to be used, so let us not become a town where buildings matter and the dignity of the least of our citizens is forgotten.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I have and continue to work hard to preserve and promote Darlington's rich heritage, especially its railway heritage. Darlington has the largest collection of early railway buildings in the world. The Crown Street Library is part of the rich railway heritage of Darlington. I want the library to remain in its present building at Crown Street because that was the intention of the Pease family when the library was built in the Nineteenth Century. It is a glorious building which would diminish considerably the heritage of Darlington if it is lost to some function other than as a library. The building is not only important as a library but its links to the family who founded the railways which spread from this place right round the world. Removing the library from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre is both unthinkable and wrong. Both buildings serve different purposes. Crown Street Library is a quiet, contemplative place where learning and knowledge are acquired and developed. The Dolphin Centre is a noisy place and completely unsuited to housing a library. I would like to suggest that perhaps a solution may be bringing 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?

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

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

Why can’t the £1.8m given to the Council for renovating two gypsy encampments be used to keep the library open? Is it ring fenced?

We have a legal obligation around the number of travellers we have in our area and we got a grant from the Government to help. That money can not be used any other purpose. I understand why the public gets confused when money is being spent on something they do not see as a priority but we have to spend it on the traveller sites.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

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

Q; There’s a lot of debt and a lot of people are suffering because of the debt. A lot of money has been wasted by the Council. Like the water feature, a lot of people did not want that. We are losing a lot of historical features like Cockerton and Crown Street Libraries and the market. A lot of people are proud to live in Darlington but we are losing so much of the history. We hear that suicide rates are increasing in Darlington. A lot of people will not be able to get to a Sure Start in the town centre. The town is going to be like a ghost town.

A: There is a misunderstanding about what our debt it. Of the £151m about £71m is in a separate, housing revenue account and is ring fenced. £80m debut is for capital schemes – one off things that we need a large amount of money for. When we built the office block behind the Town Hall to help jobs in the town, the debt in this instance is serviced by the rent for the building.
The Government has stopped giving us money to help pay off our debt. When we went into debt we thought the Government would help us. All local authorities have debt for capital schemes. The revenue budget which is being cut, is largely separate from this debt. Only a small percentage of the revenue budget goes to pay off the debt

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 LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

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

Q: You are only engaging the people now because of the ill feeling. Potentially you are going get rid of the things that matter to the people of Darlington, getting rid of the library, selling the market off to a third party. Taking the heart of the town. Why does the Dolphin centre lose £0.75m a year –is the building not fit for purpose?

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

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

Q: Giving people a choice between looking after the vulnerable or having a nice central library is far too polarised. If I want to go to the library it doesn’t mean I am against people getting help.

A: That is the decision we have to make – we do provide services for vulnerable people and we have to balance that against services that are nice to have. We have a limited amount of money and we do have to make that decision – we have to get that balance right. It’s not political – we provide a raft of services, we have a pot of money between us we have to decide which bits to fund and which we don’t. That’s the reality of what councils do.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

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

Q: I can’t cope with the notion that the library would be better in a modern building, built as a sports facility. If you go to Boro which has had to have a lot of cuts they have managed to retain their beautiful Victorian library. One of the most successful private libraries is in Newcastle and is increasingly successful. What is important to people about the town is not just about money. The arts is very important. The Bridge is going to shut - where will the services that were in the Arts Centre going to go? Will they be homeless will there be room for them in the new facility? A town must cater for its whole age range, not just for the young.

A: We are one of the first local authorities in the country to take seriously what the government is saying about its grant and we are planning accordingly. Other councils like Middlesbrough haven’t done that – they are making cuts year on year but are not planning for four years and I don’t know what the impact on their library would be if they did that. Why it is hitting Darlington is because we are trying to save the services we rely on and love for the next four years. There will be number of knock on effects for people who may have ben affected by previous proposals. What I would say to them is if the decision is made to move the library how can we shape that library for the future so it incorporates the needs of the diverse user groups who use it.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

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

Q: Darlington for Culture – libraries are much more than the sum of the books that are borrowed and people feel very strongly about keeping the library. We welcome the chance to have our say and make suggestions and alternatives but the main problem we have is time. We have willingness and expertise and people who want to help and keep the library where it is but what we don’t have is time. What we are asking for is much longer to put together a sustainable future for our libraries. When you see how much it would cost to move the library and decimate it I am sure it is worth us investing the time on keeping it where it is.

A: This is not about decimating a library service it is about moving it to the Dolphin Centre but many of the core functions will remain and in terms of floor space it would look very similar. I appreciate how attached people are to the building it is in at the moment. There is a significant amount of risk in making the savings that have been identified, things we can’t control like children being taken into care will mean those savings can’t be realised. There is an imperative for this budget to stick together to do things as soon as possible putting off decisions would be a false economy and we have tight deadlines we are trying to stick to.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

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

Q: You are talking about spending £2m to move the library for a saving of £360k per year – where’s the sense? It’s doing the job its doing where it is

A: It’s £1.1m. The critical issue we have is revenue because the grant has been cut. It’s the year on year spend. This is part of the solution for the revenue problem to pay for the other services.

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.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

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

Q: This meeting has been all about budgets and money what about heart and people and what makes this town where you want to live? The cuts are all aimed at services where there is genuine need. The need will still be there after you’ve made the so called savings, the needs will emerge as costs somewhere else. Most people think keep what’s working and find a way to make it work in a more thrifty way rather than move it – like putting a library in a swimming bath. You are good people and you’ve done a lot for this town please don’t make any more mistakes.

A: When we were working through the proposals I never doubted how important crown street library is, to adults particularly, as it is somewhere we have grown up in. We are bearing that in mind but simply to say we are not looking at relocating services in isolation. We are looking at other places that have done similar things, this is happening elsewhere as councils look to use the limited resources they have. I take your point about where is the heart in that but there is an awful lot of bean counting that has to happen to ensure we are solvent so we can continue to provide the services to the most vulnerable.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

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

Q: I have used the library all my life – it is really vibrant. The art gallery has been used a lot more in recent years, community groups have been able to use it. What’s going to happen to that space?

Over the years you have destroyed Darlington – why isn’t the market still in the market place? Why are you building a new cinema and new car parks, the cinema in Northgate is surely going to close? You are reducing street cleaning it’s disgusting. The shopping centre is deserted.

A: Town centres are changing. The internet is changing it that’s why we need a multiplex cinema, and restaurants to bring people into the town centre and make it vibrant. That is the duty of the local authority to work with traders and industry to make the town centre as vibrant as possible. No-one is doubting Crown Street is a vibrant and great place to be, this proposal is not a criticism of the library. Moving the art gallery has been successful. But this proposal is driven by the numbers, it’s not a proposal we would have come up with otherwise. But there is an opportunity to create something different and maybe better but we still want to hear your views. The reason the market is not in the market place is that the tracers don’t want to be there, they want to be on high row.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)

I would like to comment on the proposed closure of Darlington Library and Resource Centre, I have been using this library for many years and find the proposal to close it very sad . It is used by many people for many different reasons and is always a busy place. The staff are so helpful and knowledgeable, This library has been here serving the public for over a hundred years, it is something that should be safeguarded for the future generations, it is access to a wealth of history for the people of Darlington and the outlying areas. I have found out so much for my family history that I did not know existed with the skill and expertise of the staff and the records held there. Please save our library - We need it for the future and to keep our past safeguarded.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Core LLE12 (Indoor and Outdoor Markets)

Comment form about the library and market

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

Feedback form about the library proposals

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FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Letter about the proposals for the library

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FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Letter about the proposals for the library

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FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A letter of central library ideas

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FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Hello, We object strongly to the Council's proposal to close Crown Street Library and relocate the Borough's library service to the Dolphin Centre. The Council have failed in this consultation process to demonstrate that a comprehensive library service matching that at Crown Street could be provided at the Dolphin Centre. The failure includes the use by DBC of misleading floorspace figures, failing to take into account space at Crown Street that is an essential part of an efficient library service. One hugely important aspect of the library service - one that only a Darlington municipal library can provide - is the Local Studies section. We have been told that the published proposals to close this (which remain on your website) are now incorrect and that such a facility will be accommodated at the Dolphin Centre. However, the public space to be given over to it would be little more than one-third of the existing space - something that even a cursory look around the present room shows to be totally unfeasible for the stock of books, maps, microfiches, desks, computers, microfiche viewers, etc, there, let alone for the essential backup documents held in Crown Street's spacious storage area and immediately at hand. Accordingly, we support the Business Case and proposals by Darlington for Culture to set up a Charitable Incorporated Organisation to run the Crown Street premises with the Council continuing to run a comprehensive set of library services there. The Council should grasp this opportunity to work with its citizens rather than acting against them.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Questions about the library proposals

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
FF 52f (Libraries – Local Studies)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

Consultation response letter from Darlington for Culture

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FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W04 (Library - Local Studies)
Cut W05 (Cockerton Library)

Darlington for Culture library business case

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I would like to express my concerns about the possible closure of Crown Street Library – The building is spectacular The art exhibitions are great The building is spacious There is a good selection of books and CDs There is access to language courses The internet access is good for the local community particularly the people on low incomes who may not have internet access at home The reference library is good The toilet facilities are good There are helpful pin boards with details of local opportunities and events The tourist information is based there and of a good standard The library has regular visitors who go daily / weekly There is employment for local people The library acts as a social service People who are retired or un employed spend time there The job cannot be done totally by volunteers Thank you for considering my concerns

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I am writing as a resident to ask you to do all you can to vote against the move of Crown street library to the Dolphin centre at the end of June. As a family we feel very strongly about this. My daughter wrote to the council ( her letter was printed in the paper but she never had a response to it.) My son aged 13 uses the crown street library weekly for his studies and will not be able to use the library if it is moved to the Dolphin centre as the air in the building sets off his asthma. It is all very well investing money in the Civic theatre but not all Darlington families can afford to go to the theatre but all can go to the library. Young people will loose the experience of being inside historic buildings (the art centre has already gone!) This historic building is fit for purpose and should be preserved for future generations. Please express to Councillor Dixon that children enjoy books and reading and being in the magical surroundings of Darlington Crown street library.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

We need to keep our library, where it is, doing what it does best. It is a beautiful building, one of just a few of Darlington's beautiful buildings left in this town. When I go to our library, it is the helpful, friendly staff, the ambience, the very being of this building that makes my experience worthwhile.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

A letter regarding Crown St Building

Documents


FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

I was lucky enough to grow up in Darlington some 50 years ago. Through my childhood and youth this library was a key part of my life, for the entertaining reading I loved, for the serious study which took me on to university and a life teaching. I am very much saddened to hear of proposals to close it and leave the town without a central library worthy of the name. For the sake of the young people of the town who need to develop their love of reading, the mature who need a fund of books to enjoy, the students who need support in study you must keep this open. A good central library, as this could be, is part of how the town looks at itself and is able to say, 'We are a serious place worthy of respect.' And it is part of how the town can say to those who think of coming to live or invest, 'This is a good place to live!' I know the town has been viciously squeezed by central government but so, too, have others and they have been able to avoid such disasters. Don't stick with this misguided decisions.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Budget 2016 – Crown Street Library Proposals The Budget proposes to close all libraries including Crown Street Library and build new Library in the Dolphin Centre. The Council is a Library Authority and has to provide a Library Service out of the Budget. It does not have to provide a Leisure Centre. Moving the Libraries into the Dolphin will help with the running costs of the Dolphin – the figure quoted is £335,000. To keep the Library in Crown Street, this figure must be found from the Budget 2016 Future’s Fund proposals in the Budget as alternative sources of Dolphin funding. There are some other options which I hope you will consider:- 1. Reduce the running costs of Crown Street and Increase the Income from Crown Street. This will mean a saving in the Library costs in the Core Budget which could then help with the running costs of the Dolphin. For example:- Income: • Charging for services like book groups, library tours, children’s events, archive researches, family history help – all the many services and more the Library does (but NOT for borrowing books as this has to be a free service). • Introduce a cafe. • Rent out rooms for meetings. • Fund raising & subscriptions run by a Friends Group. • A shop to sell souvenirs of Darlington based on the Art Collection and Quaker/Railway history. It is planned that Darlington will celebrate the 200 anniversary of the Railways in 2025 and the town may well become a global centre for visitors! Running Costs: • Upgrade roof, boiler, insulation and computers to save on running costs. This could be funded either through a loan or from Grants that a Friends Group could access. • Staff savings through automated book borrowing and help from volunteers in less skilled jobs like filing. • Saving on current £100,000 stock spending. 2. Items that could be sacrificed from the Future’s Fund: • Mayoral Service: £66,000 • Eastbourne Sports Centre £60,000 • Festival of Thrift £40,000 • School crossing patrols £125,000 (or reduce costs with volunteer support) • Morrisons Indoor Bowls £60,000 3. Identify Alternatives to make the Dolphin Financially Sustainable: • Convert the Gyms into a facility Darlington does not offer already. There are many gyms in the town competing for Dolphin income. Roller skating discos and Derbys are becoming popular for instance, (Leeds, Bury St Edmunds), or other sports like table tennis which could build up a following and draw people from outside town too. • Running costs reductions like solar panels. In my opinion, I see that the Dolphin is a fabulous centre for Darlington. However it seems to be in danger of swallowing up other services in order to meet the huge running costs. £3 million was spent at the beginning of the year on urgent electrical and mechanical repairs. There is another £2 million still to be spent on further repairs. This is a massive amount when the budget is being so severely cut. Please would you also consider other reasons why the Library should stay in Crown Street:- - Covenants on the Deeds which state the building and land must stay as a Library for ever. Although the Council could apply to have these lifted, I anticipate a huge public protest if they do. The Pease family also needs to give their consent. - Loans of over £1m will be needed to build the new library in the Dolphin and move the Registry Office. Repayments would increase the burden on the budget which could be helping the Dolphin. - Darlington people want to keep the Library in Crown Street. Many love the Library. But I think many are rightly proud of Darlington’s unique place in history because of the Quakers and Railways, and they are very upset at the loss of significant historic buildings, of which Crown Street is one. There are a number of facebook pages with significant numbers of members with just this view – the biggest is Darlington As It Looked with about 15,000 members. - Archives and Art Collection Provision. The proposal is to move slightly less than the current ground floor of Crown Street to the Dolphin. There are no firm plans for where the Art Collection will be stored, whether there will be an Art Gallery, where the huge store of treasure about Darlington’s history will be kept. This takes up the basement which is the same size as the ground floor. - Unsuitability of the Dolphin: Toilets and a cafe will be available in the Dolphin and it will be more attractive to young families are the reasons given for the move. Crown Street has 4 toilets to my knowledge, 2 of which are huge and could easily be divided. They are fully accessible and have baby changing facilities. There is a lift. It may be true that a Library in the Dolphin will attract ‘some’ new people. I think very many Crown Street users will be lost because of the unsuitability of having a library, - a place of quiet, reflection, relaxation, creativity, learning – in a Leisure Centre- which is about physical activity, noise and excitement. The two just do not fit. - Who would buy Crown Street ? (Assuming the covenant was removed). There is an argument I have been unable to verify that the internal fittings are also Grade II Listed, if so that would limit further possible uses. Support: • Almost 1000 people on the Facebook page Darlington Library Keep it in Crown Street, which I set up on 16 February. • Almost 1000 people attended the Protest at the Library organised by Darlington for Culture • Over 2000 people so far have signed the Northern Echo coupon asking for time to consider alternatives to losing Crown Street. About 10 people from the Facebook page have collected almost 1000 signatures in 2 days on the streets of Darlington. People were queuing up to sign. They crossed the road to sign. They stopped in their tracks to sign. They were of all ages and cultures and their postcodes from ALL OVER Darlington. We spoke to as many as we could. 99% of people were against losing Crown Street Library. We were outside the Library, on High Row and outside Wilkos. • A number of people joined the LoveLocks demo over Easter. Membership: The Libraries have 52,000 members. In the last year: 10,000 members borrowed 230,410 books from Crown Street. Over 17,000 people used Local Studies. 62,120 computer sessions at Crown Street, over 29,000 hours. 42,000 visits were made to Cockerton, which would be accommodated in Crown Street 260 people per week use the Mobile library 255,225 people visited Crown Street, at least, as there is not a counter at all entrances. There are excellent Library Tours regularly available which are fascinating and enjoyable. I hope you find this information of use in coming to a decision at the end of June.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)

Petition handed in to the library, signed by 24 people, which states - We the undersigned, are totally against the sell off of the magnificent library building, and redeveloping and moving to the Dolphin Centre.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
Cut W15 (Concessionary Fares)

Darlington People's Parliament response to budget proposals

Documents