LIBRARY supporters feel their views have been ignored as the council pushes ahead with plans to move their town's facility into a newly built primary school.

Hay-on-Wye Library Supporters (HOWLS) wanted to keep their library at its current location in Chancery Lane and drew up plans for a 'self-financing community hub' to make this a reality

However, the group claim that Powys County Council has blocked their attempts to meet with councillors to discuss any business plan for the current site.

The council's proposal is for the library to be incorporated in the new £5 million primary school currently being built.

"It is clear that Powys CC has no intention of honouring their previous decision to consider proposals," said Anita Wright, Chair of HOWLS.

"Powys CC intend to push ahead with their plans to move Hay Library into a smaller space in the new Hay primary school and sell off the current Library building and green space.

"Once again Powys CC has run roughshod over the wishes of local people and will deprive Hay of yet another well-loved community facility."

Mrs Wright added that in an attempt to break the deadlock, HOWLS produced a Library Development Plan to present to Powys CC that would have made the building a self-financing community hub with cafe, offices and meeting space. However, Hay Town Council declined an offer to join them in partnership.

"The proposed Hay Library space in the school is smaller, and intended for other uses by the school," said Mrs Wright.

"Powys CC also plans to half the library opening hours to 12 hours per week.

"Selling off the current library site is nothing more than Powys CC asset stripping, with complete disregard for a community they serve, in a desperate attempt to sort out its own financial mess."

In response a spokesman for Powys CC said: “We are deeply disappointed by the group’s statement, we had a constructive meeting with the group last week to discuss future plans for the library service in the town and they agreed to support the service whatever location was used.

“The county council is investing £25m in the Gwernyfed catchment area building five new community focussed primary schools, the project includes a new library provision in both Hay-on-Wye and Talgarth schools.

“While the new service will not be the same as before the council has had to find a significant number of savings and changes in the way services are delivered are common place. We are confident that the new library will be a huge asset to the school and the wider community.

“Work on the schools is progressing well and we anticipate they will be ready early in the New Year with the library moving in the spring. No decision has been made about the future of the existing building that will be made by the council’s Strategic Asset Board which has to provide the most advantageous return for the council. ”