Your View: Central Library

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I would suggest that Coun Jack Scott ought to go to Specsavers before he attempts to read my letters. (Star.Mar 9)

When he’s got his new specs he can re-read my letter and see that I said that the council were considering demolition of the Central Library in 2003 and not that they’re considering it now.

Hallamshire Historic Buildings were responsible for getting it listed in 2004 after we received a tip-off that the council were wondering what to do with this tiresome old building and demolition was definitely being considered.

The awarding of a Grade II listing not only prevented demolition but also any inappropriate alterations and we understand caused some apoplexy among our dear leaders. At that time restoration was costed at £20m but the council did nothing, citing a lack of funds even though the then Blair government was in power, public spending was at an all-time high and the word “cuts” was unheard of.

It will now cost £30m, so let’s blame the “cuts” for the sheer neglect of the building.

The latest bizarre ideas to move the library to the Town Hall and convert the library into a hotel are straight from the realms of science fiction and not been fully thought through.

Has anyone considered that Historic England might just have something to say about the trashing of not one but two interiors both of which are listed (Grade I and Grade II respectively) and may be described as magnificent?

I have spent a large slice of my life trying to protect Sheffield’s historic buildings and quite frankly this city’s track record is appalling, which is how it gained its notorious reputation.