Library fight continues


The fight to safeguard Batley Library went directly to

councillors this week.

Batley History Group chairman Malcolm Haigh appealed to Kirklees Council’s cabinet on Tuesday to ensure Batley gets to keep its iconic building.

He said the library was a well loved institution and signified Batley pride.

“The library, designed by local architect Arthur Hanstock, lies at the heart of the town,” he said.

“People have been – and still are – very proud of it.

“Proud of the building, proud and thankful for the services it provides and immensely grateful for the tremendous atmosphere which it engenders among all age groups.”

He told councillors the library had been hosted in town hall in the past, when works were being carried out in the Carnegie library building but the building wasn’t suitable.

He said: “People found it confusing, crowded and completely unsuitable.

“They were absolutely delighted when it returned to its rightful place.”

Support for the history group’s campaign has seen more than 1,000 signatures collected in print, while an e-petition had 210 signatures as the News went to print.

The e-petition, created on Kirklees Council’s online e-petitioning system, is the first to be lodged by a Batley-based group.

Mr Haigh added: “We need to get 3,001 signatures to force a debate at Kirklees Council on the future of Batley Library and if that means me taking to Facebook and Twitter – whatever they are – I’ll do it!”

The online petition can be found at

Paper versions can be picked up from the Batley and Birstall News office in Commercial Street or by calling Mr Haigh on 01924 479824.

Completed petitions need to be returned to the office or Mr Haigh by February 18.