Once again we’re referring to last week’s Local Area Committee meeting. In particular, the question that we raised about the library and the several months of building work that have just been started. We asked why such extensive work was being carried out if, as the borough council wrote earlier this year: “Surrey County Council is looking to redevelop the current library site to bring the facilities up to date in a landmark building. The space in front of the library will be landscaped alongside the redevelopment to create a fitting setting for this new addition.”
Our question appeared to uncover two examples of poor communications within/by the ‘authorities’. Firstly, we’ve just seen a comment by the county council: “While any disruption in service is a concern, the long term investment in this library will be of benefit to local residents.” It seems – to us at least – that the borough council’s statement about a ‘landmark building’ does not convey that it is referring to a project that’s far into the future; it won’t happen until the “long term investment” in the current building has passed its sell-by date.
Secondly, at the Local Area Committee meeting, events took an unexpected turn with what seemed to be quite heated criticism by various councillors. It appeared that they felt that communication and publicity about the closure had been inadequate. We noted that not all the local libraries had been alerted, so they had not anticipated the extra workload coming their way. We were slightly surprised by this as the ‘social media’ had ‘flagged’ the closure quite extensively, and well in advance. (It had been discussed so much that the Eye decided not to give the subject much coverage at the time.)
Our councils seemed to have got themselves into a bit of a muddle…..