Labour Minister praises Caerphilly Council over library development

05/12/2011

Regeneration Minister Huw Lewis has praised the work of Plaid Cymru-led Caerphilly council in opening three new state-of-the-art libraries.

And the Minister told South Wales East AM Lindsay Whittle wants other local authorities to follow the lead of Caerphilly council.

Lindsay Whittle, questioning the Minister, said “I am sure that you will join with me in congratulating Caerphilly County Borough Council on opening three new state-of-the-art libraries, with a fourth planned in the new year.

“What assistance will the Government be giving to local authorities to help other parts of Wales to learn from the example of Caerphilly council in working together with a number of different organisations, including the Welsh Government, housing associations, the police and other sectors, to spread the cost of keeping libraries open?”

Huw Lewis said: “You are right to celebrate the progress that has been made in the county borough. Only last week, I visited the truly remarkable Hanbury Road chapel conversion in Bargoed, which is a traditional Welsh chapel that has been through a stunning, imaginative and very cost-effective conversion into one of the best library spaces that exists, to my mind, anywhere in the UK.

“Without the joint working between CyMAL and the local authority, it would not have been possible. I must also pay tribute to the Baptist congregation of Hanbury Road, who retain their place of worship in the building, because without their permission none of this would have happened.

“It is possible, and it could be important for other parts of Wales to look at collaborative examples, such as those that have happened within the boundaries of Caerphilly county borough, for a way forward, even in difficult times.”