Voice Your Choice

Update – October 2018

The draft plans which for several months have been on display in the Library foyer were the basis for a planning application submitted in August/September with comments invited by 19 October. The good news now is that

– Planning permission is granted
– Listed Building Consent is granted

subject only to detailed designs of hand rails and colour of materials to be used being submitted for approval before work starts.

Library user Johanna Elvidge has offered to liaise with Calderdale’s Safer, Cleaner, Greener team on preparing a design for the revised garden.

Library user Joe Hickey has kindly agreed to carve a commemorative stone for us. Many readers will recall that it was Joe who created and donated the logo used by the Friends.

Tenders for the work can now be sought by the council. It is not yet determined exactly when the work will start – probably spring 2019 – or for how long the library will have to close while this takes place.

We’ll keep you updated.

26 October 2018

Update – June 2018

Read our update about the project to improve access at Rastrick Library.

Update – December 2017

In accordance with the 2017 “Voice Your Choice” vote, Big Local Rastrick allocated £65,000 to Friends of Rastrick Library, to be used in creating access for all to our library. As the library, a gift of Aldermen Clay and Smith, belongs to Calderdale, the Friends group cannot act alone on this. In July we, together with Rastrick Big Local and Rastrick Councillor Beal, met with representatives of the libraries and other relevant departments. Two plans were considered in principle, one prepared some years ago by Sheffield City on behalf of Calderdale and one prepared by Hawdon Russell Architects on behalf of the Friends. Phil Hawdon had kindly done this preparatory work for us free of charge and expected the overall cost of execution to be no more than £65,000. It was agreed that before the end of August Calderdale would calculate costs of each plan and a decision would then be made on which to take forward. In fact, it was part way through November before the costings became available and then they were each well in excess of £100,000. This was, of course, disappointing – and surprising, given the opinion of Phil Hawdon, a reputable and experienced professional – and it was suggested that further thought be given to the cost or to alternative strategies. As yet, neither the Friends nor the Library Service has received further communication from the relevant council department.

Statement from Friends of Rastrick Library – August 2017

The Friends of Rastrick Library are overwhelmed at the local support shown through the Rastrick Big Local ‘Voice your Choice’ recent vote, and could not be more grateful that the people of Rastrick have chosen the “Access 4 All” project at Rastrick Library.

The committee and volunteers from the Friends of Rastrick Library have worked tirelessly over the past five years to try and raise the sizeable funds needed to help make the Library accessible to all, but have been repeatedly turned down or hit bureaucratic hurdles along the way. We are so pleased that the Friends have secured this funding, to help our project move forward and, we all hope, become reality.

It is our aim that the Library continues to provide a vital community hub for the people of Rastrick and beyond, as it has done for the last 105 years. Going forward that will involve everyone in the local community – including those in wheelchairs, with health or mobility issues, or families with young children – who were previously excluded from using the Library.

The next step for us will be to start working closely with Rastrick Big Local, Council officials and architects, to try and put a realistic timeline together for how the project will be delivered and funded. We are very excited to be finally making progress on this project, and would like to thank all our supporters, volunteers and funders for their continued support and encouragement.

Please make sure that you keep up to date with how the project is progressing by visiting this website, by liking our facebook page www.facebook.com/friendsofrastricklibrary or by following us on Twitter @forl_group

Alison Lester

Chairperson of Friends of Rastrick Library