IT seems unwise to engage in an ill- tempered debate over Kirkbymoorside’s old library and its ramifications. So I will simply state some facts:
• The former council proposed to spend £175,000 or more on the old library. A professional valuation indicates that after the spending, the building would be worth about £125,000.
• After all that expenditure, the running costs for the building would exceed current council expenditures on the rental of a perfectly adequate office and meeting rooms, quite apart from the capital cost.
• The town council was split from the start. Two members voted against the project and another would have done if present. The only difference after the by-election was that the advocates for the project became the minority. That’s democracy.
• The town meeting held to discuss the old library showed that a huge majority were against the project. In the by-election, people turned out to support candidates opposing the project.
• There is no evidence for claims that feeling was “whipped up”.
• The candidate who emphasised opposition to the old library project came top of the poll to represent Kirkbymoorside on Ryedale District Council.
• The town council is dealing with any contractual issues that may arise out of the abortive project.
• So-called professional advice has been used to manipulate the town council, and checks have shown that original advice has been misrepresented.
• The town council is now operating efficiently with a reduced budget that nevertheless allows for more to be spent on grants and services. A new town clerk has been appointed, and the council looks forward to welcoming her.
• Present council members have established priorities that emphasise support and services for local people, and all members are committed to working together in pursuit of those aims.
COUN Martin Brampton, Kirkbymoorside