LIBRARY CLOSING IN JUNE 2013
The Central Library has been winding down for many months now but the management have now announced that it is to close ‘for good’ in June 2013. This leaves a gap of 3 months when there will be no library service available in the city centre.
ECONOMIC CASE FOR REDEVELOPMENT
At the end of September the Council’s Corporate Information Governance officer informed FCL, ‘The only information Birmingham City Council hold on how many people employed [sic] in the Central Library or Chamberlain House in Paradise Circus, is contained within the Environmental Statement accompanying the outline planning application for Paradise Circus; Existing jobs estimated at 1,059 – this is only an estimate based on density of development calculations. Predicted total FTE jobs 9,898 – this is based on the minimum floor space figures, so there could well be more.’ ‘The other buildings you have mentioned are private businesses and therefore we would not hold any information.’ In a letter from Senior Governance Officer, Dean Robinson, on 4 October, he stated; ‘I am currently trying to locate any information that estimates the net benefit of redeveloping Paradise Circus.’ Nothing has been received since.
FCL’s e-petition calling on the Council to re-think its policy was signed by 688 people in the space of one month and closed on 15 July 2012. We have since received a response from the Council’s Development and Culture Directorate and will publish it in a separate post.
Councillor Bore’s reply to an oral question on 16 October 2012 is on the Council’s website. He conceded that ‘ the cyclical nature of market conditions gives rise to effects which sometimes encourage the provision of new commercial space, whilst at other times discourage its provision’, but he didn’t say where Birmingham was in this cycle. With touching faith in the professionals he endorsed ‘the consensus view from the property consultants that the supply of new Grade A offices in Birmingham City Centre would be exhausted somewhere between 2014 and 2016’.
Andy Foster took part in Adrian Goldberg’s radio WM show on 27 November 2012. Adrian was following up Bernardette McNulty’s article in the Telegraph on 26 November 2012. A freelance journalist has recently contacted FLC about a forthcoming story on the loss of Madin’s buildings.
FCL submitted a lengthy letter of objection to Argent plc’s Planning Application for the redevelopment of Paradise Circus.
Alan Clawley, Secretary, Friends Of The Central Library