Fears over meeting room at library

FEARS that a major refurbishment of a town s library will not contain a facility for a group of elderly residents to meet have been dismissed as unfounded. Bedfordshire County Council is spending an estimated £450,000 on refurbishing the public library in

FEARS that a major refurbishment of a town's library will not contain a facility for a group of elderly residents to meet have been dismissed as unfounded.

Bedfordshire County Council is spending an estimated £450,000 on refurbishing the public library in Sandy and hopes to have the plans completed very soon and the building programme completed by the end of the year.

The worries were expressed by pensioners' campaigner and Sandy resident Ken Lynch at the annual parish meeting at Sandy Upper School on Monday night. He said he had been told that the current day centre will not be included in the new library.

"I have been informed that there are no plans for the provision to keep the current day centre which is used by the elderly group on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays," said Mr Lynch.

"If this is true then the county council is failing the old people of Sandy who rely on this facility three days a week to meet, chat and enjoy each other's company."

But the county council hit back saying claims that the library will not contain a meeting place or any facility for the elderly are unfounded.

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County councillor John Scott, who attended Monday's meeting, said the Sandy library plans were still being drawn up.

"We are still completing the plans so nothing has been decided," said Cllr Scott.

"The plans will be designed with the users' needs and future use of the library in mind."

Cllr Bob King, Bedford-shire County Council cabinet member for community services, said: "The refurbishment of Sandy library will incorporate the hall and courtyard area into the main library, doubling its size.

"Currently, the hall is used on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday as a drop-in area where people of all ages can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee provided by volunteers. We will be discussing with current user groups to see how they can be accommodated.

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