17 November 2013
On Saturday 16 November, around 200 people united to resist the proposed closure and demolition of Barnsley Central Library – a purpose built and well-used resource, built in 1975 – to make way for a new Barnsley College Sixth Form.
The residents of Barnsley, including support from Barnsley Trades Council and local campaign groups, literally joined to form a human chain all the way round the library, receiving hoots from passing cars and spontaneous support from passersby on foot.
The campaign began around 2 weeks ago with an initial public meeting and the initiation of a petition (2000+ signatures at the time of writing).
Within a short space of time the campaign has grown into an impressive force, proving that unity and action over a common cause can force those with political and financial power to sit up and listen; account for their seemingly undemocratic decision making and unjustified destruction of a vital community resource.
Barnsley Council has now been forced into extending its consultation period from 4 to 8 weeks, in respect of a proposed move to a currently derelict and sub-standard building, but it has yet to fully explain when and how the decision to demolish the current library was made.
The campaign plans to take further action and has begun a people’s alternative ballot with a simple yes/no over the demolition.
Follow the campaign on twitter: @savebarnsleylib