VANISHED: Central Library deal

First there was a deal and suddenly now it’s vanished. We need answers on what is happening with our Central Library.

By Kurtis Crossland, Nov 02, 2017 7:11

Liberal Democrats can reveal that a year after the announcement, a deal still hasn’t been signed for the redevelopment of the Central Library.

Back in November 2016, Sheffield City Council announced with great fanfare the possibility of redeveloping the Central Library. At the time, former cabinet member Leigh Bramall said; “We have agreed on a 12 month exclusivity period” (with the Chinese investment company Sichaun Guodong Construction Group).

But thanks to a well-placed question to Labour Cabinet Member Mazher Iqbal by Lib Dem Councillor Martin Smith, we can reveal that a year on, a deal still hasn’t been signed.

Councillor Martin Smith said “Our Central Library is one of the jewels in Sheffield’s crown. It’s no wonder there was a lot of worried residents when the deal was announced. But now, a year later, we’re still none the wiser. First there was a deal and suddenly now it’s vanished. We need answers on what is happening with our Central Library.

The Central Library was the centre point of the famous £1bn Chinese investment deal. A deal which Sheffield City Council has refused to let opposition councillors see.

Cllr Martin Smith added, “There’s just no transparency here. They won’t let us see a thing.

“We’re told there’s an exclusive deal for the Central Library and then it vanishes. We’re told there’s £1bn coming around the corner from this Chinese investment deal but it never arrives. Labour need to come clean with people. What on earth is going on? Sheffield deserves better.”

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