On 3rd February 2018 the Parish Council held a joint consultative exhibition with the Save Our Library Site (SOLS) group to show the proposed drawings for the refurbishment of both buildings
Around 500 people attended the event and 335 forms were returned to the Parish Council. This represents a return of 5% from a village of around 7,000. The fact that 95% of the village chose not to express an opinion is not lost on the Parish Council members but everyone has had the opportunity to respond.
There were four options that the Parish Council were seeking views on. The 335 responses were split as follows:
Refurbish the Queens Hall and undertake significant redesign of the Library: 140 (42%)
Refurbish the Queens Hall and Library Building: 79 (24%)
Provide Library Services from a refurbished community hub within the Queens Hall: 78 (23%)
No refurbishment of either building until it becomes clear what additional money may be available after the development of new homes: 38 (11%)
A further 219 separate questionnaires from those attending the exhibition were returned to the Save Our Library Site (SOLS) group. These responses suggested that
A: Spending some money on dilapidations and refreshing both buildings was the most popular choice (38%)
B: Disposing of the library building was not a popular choice (3%)
The Parish Council option B, generated a 26% response rate
In March 2018 the Parish Council reviewed the public consultation feedback, and a wide variety of options for the refurbishment of the Queens Hall and Library. Council members listened carefully to what people in the village have said and acknowledged that the village could benefit from the retention of both the library building and the Queens Hall, and so the decision was made to improve both buildings. Specifically:
Up to £365,000 (plus fees) will be to be spent on the Queens Hall for repairs and refurbishment
Up to a further £150,000 will be spent on the library for repairs and refurbishment
The proposed building extensions to the Queens Hall to improve services have been put on hold and will be considered once any monies from future development in the village is clearer. While this is a more cautious approach than was initially proposed, it does enable the Parish Council to move forward and improve the state of both buildings. Moreover, now that the clear decision has been made to make a significant investment in both buildings, the Parish Council will approach Bradford Council with a request for a contribution towards the refurbishment of Queens Hall and a further request for Bradford Council to transfer the freehold of Queens Hall to Burley Parish Council. A quick decision is not expected.
The cost to refurbish both buildings will be funded via the precept (a part of the Council tax residents already pay to Bradford Council). This will be a little over £13 a year for the next 15 years for a Band D house.
The Parish Council will now move forward and commence detailed planning on the start of refurbishment activities.