Plaid Cymru hit out at Labour "vanity project" over library reopening

19/01/2016

Colinn Mann

Figures obtained by Plaid Cymru reveal that Aberbargoed library – reopened by the ruling Labour group – issued an average of only five items every hour since April – the lowest in the county borough.

And there were less than 10 visits an hour to the library and resource centre between April 1 and the end of September, 2015, according to figures obtained by Plaid Cymru under the Freedom of Information Act. In contrast, nearby Bargoed had 60 visits an hour over the same period.

Aberbargoed library was re-opened by the Labour Party in 2013 – despite warnings from Plaid Cymru councillors – after a £90,000 refurbishment.

Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group on Caerphilly council, said: "This shows the expensive folly of reopening the Aberbargoed library when there was a superb library just a mile away in Bargoed.

"The figures indicate that Aberbargoed library and resource is not well used and hasn’t been since it reopened in 2013. Its reopening was nothing more than an expensive vanity project by the Labour group which tax-payers could ill-afford. And the council has already cut library opening hours across the county borough.

"I warned in September 2012 that this spending was not a good use of public money in difficult financial times but as usual the Labour group buried their heads in the sand and carried on with this project. If the re-opened library had been well used I would not be commenting. Unfortunately this is not the case