Labour’s plans to move Hove Library down the road to Hove Museum look set to be dealt a near-fatal blow this evening as the Green and Tory parties team up to vote them down.
The news comes after the plans were pulled from the agenda of April’s policy and resources committee when Labour learnt that opposition councillors were planning to table an amendment to delay the plans.
They then said they would ask for a more detailed business case, which was finally published on Tuesday, and which showed that previous estimates to repair the listed Carnegie building currently home to Hove Library could have been hugely overestimated.
While the business case still concluded that the preferred choice should be to move the library, it said that the cost of keeping the library in its current location could be as little as £301,000 over five years, less than half the figure of £750,000 originally stated. At most, they would be £735,000.
The Greens have consistently said they will vote against the plans, and the Tories are now signalling that they will join them.
Convenor of the Green group, Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty said: “We will be going into the committee having had just over 24 hours to consider Labour’s full business case for the move. This is scandalous and is no way to make proper decisions.
“Our preliminary analysis suggests that there are still significant risks in the plans, which will lead to a significant deterioration in the quality of the library service for the people of Hove as well as the loss of a local cultural treasure.
“We are determined to hold Labour to account and will be considering our own proposals to respond to the huge popular demand to keep the library open.”
Meanwhile, residents are left wondering what the fate of the city’s library services will be, as all three parties appear more interested in scoring party political points than safeguarding the service’s future.
— Gill Ditch (@brighton118) June 8, 2016