To: Sheffield City Council

Local Voice for the Walkley Carnegie Building

Local Voice for the Walkley Carnegie Building

We want the sale of Walkley Carnegie Library Building to be put on hold until all options are considered.
We are asking that:
The people of Walkely have a say in the future of the building.
The people of Sheffield retain the freehold of this historic building

Why is this important?

We believe the sale of the building to a private company (Forum Cafe Bars Ltd) is being rushed without possible alternatives being considered. The local community has not been properly consulted and the sale process has been neither democratic nor transparent.
The building was gifted by Carnegie to serve the people of Walkley.
Once it is sold to a private company it will never again be a public resource - there is no going back. This community resource will be lost forever.
The proposed arrangements have been described as a partnership but wider community voice has been removed. Some local people have voiced their opposition but have been ignored. There has been little or no consultation, little or no information has been made available to the wider community and specific questions about the sale process have not been answered.
It is important that the sale is put on hold until:
1) the community has a say in the future Walkley Carnegie Library building
2) the sale process (removal from public ownership) being followed is documented, made transparent and shared with the community.

Sheffield

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • All Libraries are an integral part of the local communities
  • The erosion of cultural values at the expense of commercial values in this country must be reversed. Sheffield is a city with a proud cultural heritage and the Council should value that above short-term profit, with the attendant dilution of community assets.
  • If Carnegie donated the library to the people of Walkley, I'm not quite sure why the Council thinks it can sell the building. Isn't it fraud to sell something that doesn't belong to you? Shame on them!

Updates

2016-03-07 14:29:30 +0000

Issues with the Planning Application.
1. No environmental impact statement. This is of concern as there is no provision for parking, no plans to minimise noise to neighbours or extract fan noise/smell.
2. Disability access is demeaning passing through smoking & service areas.
3. Smoking areas are either in disability access area or close to neighbours/public thoroughfare.
3. Drawings appear to be incomplete with no drawings showing a X-section through proposed library part – a crucial omissions since the chords on the roof trusses over the children's library may prevent the installation of a proposed mezzanine without unacceptable alterations to the Grade II listed building.
4. There are no details of gutters & fascias to the new extension, & little detail of stone walls - colour, finish & coursing).
5. Extract ducts are shown on some but not all drawings – purpose unclear
Comments, can be made to Sheffield Council: http://publicaccess.sheffield.gov.uk/online-applications/

2016-03-07 14:23:27 +0000

On 16/2/16, True North Brew Co. submitted a Planning Application for a change of use for the Walkley Carnegie Library Building.
The Application describes "Use of part of the building as a cafe bar". The majority of the building will be used as a cafe bar & this is the main use of the building. Although provision is made for a small library, the building will be owned and run by the cafe bar. The supporting statement quotes Policy CF2 which "requires planners to refuse development that would result in the loss of a community facility, unless it is unavoidable or where equivalent accommodation exists elsewhere" but claims that "the retention of library addresses this policy".
Although a much reduced library service will be retained, we are very concerned that the much reduced space results in a reduced service in an unsuitable environment & will experience severe fundraising constraints- important if the (voluntary) library service is to survive & not be subsumed by the cafe bar.

2015-08-04 17:17:05 +0100

Last Wednesday Sheffield City Council held a Scrutiny Commission to examine the decision to sell the Freehold of Walkley Carnegie Library Building. The decision was upheld to sell the Freehold. A letter in the Sheffield Star sums up our feelings:
http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/letters-opinion/shame-on-them-for-tantalising-public-1-7389676

We are now thinking what our next moves are. Despite the decision to sell the Freehold there are some actions we can take to ensure that the library space to be allocated within the cafe/bar has the best chance of survival and, of course, your thoughts are welcome.

2015-07-29 13:11:08 +0100

Scrutiny Meeting today Wednesday, 29th July, 5pm at the Town Hall - please do come and make your opinions heard....

2015-07-26 18:13:22 +0100

Just a reminder that the Council's decision to sell the Freehold of Walkley Carnegie Building to a private buyer will be examined at SCRUTINY COMMITTEE at the Town Hall, Wednesday 29th July at 5pm.
These meetings are open to the public - do come and make your opinions heard!

2015-07-06 09:38:53 +0100

On 1 July Sheffield City Council announced that an agreement had been reached to sell the freehold of the Walkley Carnegie Library building to Forum Café Bars. But it's not over yet!!!
Our councillors have called in the decision - which means that before it can be finalised it goes before a scrutiny board, and we will have a chance to put our case for the sale of the library to be stopped. As we get to know more we will let you know how you can have your say too. Thanks so much for your support so far. Watch this space....

2015-07-01 15:06:51 +0100

We met with the three councillors for Walkley yesterday and appreciate that they will support us to work together with the Library Committee. The Councillors are however of the opinion that people don't care about the building being sold or having a cafe/wine bar at its core. This is despite the Walkley Carnegie Library Futures Group saying there is "little appetite for a facility which required a permanent pub or liquor license as a core feature of the future library" and so far, despite your signatures - so please do keep signing!
We are asking that citizens have a say in the future of the building. Please do be in touch if you would like further information...

2015-06-24 11:40:20 +0100

Just a quick note to thank those who have written to the council ...I have seen some copies of excellent letters ... very much appreciated.
Also a big thank you to those who have forwarded this link to their friends and colleagues.

2015-06-22 11:36:19 +0100

We have at last had a letter back from Community Services Executive Team. But we have had no replies from the Walkley Councillors to letters sent at the beginning of June.
The letter from the Executive provides no new information on how the deal between Sheffield City Council and Cafe Forum Bars has been agreed. It does not acknowledge the dissent voiced by Walkley residents when it was learnt that the price of retaining a small library space would mean the loss of the Carnegie Building Freehold. Please be in touch for copies of the letter or more info. Good luck to all who are struggling with similar issues.

2015-06-13 17:27:49 +0100

Really heartened by these responses - thank you Walkley, Sheffield and all

2015-06-12 21:18:58 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2015-06-12 14:36:15 +0100

500 signatures reached

2015-06-12 11:56:43 +0100

We are asking the councillors for a face to face meeting - so please do sign. This will help us say that the council needs to take account of what people are saying.
Your comments (reasons for signing) are great to have too.

2015-06-08 11:05:40 +0100

Just a quick note to thank all for their signatures. We have written to the head of the Council (again), to the 3 councillors for Walkley Ward and the local MP (Paul Blomfield) to try and get some answers - the more signatures we have, the more chance we have to at least halt the sale and discuss the process. So thanks again!

2015-06-06 11:47:34 +0100

100 signatures reached

2015-06-05 22:04:56 +0100

50 signatures reached

2015-06-05 09:23:03 +0100

25 signatures reached

2015-06-04 19:04:27 +0100

10 signatures reached