In his regular blog for Caerphilly Observer South Wales East AM Lindsay Whittle gives his take on recent news.
It’s great to see that progress is being made on developing a new library and council customer service centre in Caerphilly town centre following the approval of planning permission.
I’m told that work on demolishing the old post office at The Twyn will begin in March and in its place will come a new library and customer centre and heritage centre area. It will be an impressive landmark.
The old post office lost its Crown status under the last Labour Westminster Government and eventually closed its doors. Now in the town centre people go to WH Smith’s for their postal services.
The land where the library will be built has a role in the town’s history as it was the original site of Caerphilly Cheese Market.
The development will provide another boost for the town centre and means that the council’s improvement and regeneration programme for our libraries is continuing apace.
I’m proud to be a member of a council which has spent, with support from the Welsh Government and other partners, huge amounts of money in creating first class library spaces, fit for the 21st century.
It would take some very churlish or one-eyed person not to recognise the investment in libraries such as those at Bargoed and Blackwood. In Risca, the historic former Palace cinema has been returned to public use as a library and community space. Apart from the work in Caerphilly, new libraries will be completed in Newbridge and Abercarn.
I’ve always believed that libraries are so important in the fight to improve literacy and can’t understand local authorities in England that are looking to close libraries.
I was pleased that Welsh Government Minister Huw Lewis, recognised the fantastic work done at the Hanbury Chapel in Bargoed when I raised the refurbishment in the Senedd. That was possible because of the work of several partners, including the council and the Welsh Government.
The Minister’s remarks were in contrast to comments by other politicians who have failed to recognise the transformation of library services carried out in the county borough.
Plaid Cymru South Wales East AM