Bid to stop controversial library sculpture centre fails

This Is Lancashire: Bury Art Gallery and Library Bury Art Gallery and Library

Bury Council has been accused of prioritising tourism over learning, as a further bid to stop a controversial sculpture centre was thrown out.

In a lively debate at Bury Town Hall last Wednesday, Labour councillors voted down a petition which called on the council to reverse the decision to install a sculpture centre at Bury Library.

The petition, which was presented to the meeting by Sue Smith, from the Save Bury Library group, had collected 2,955 signatures, which meant it could be debated again.

She said: “Plans that have been described by the art gallery manager as a ‘no brainer’ and of which he does not ‘expect to receive widespread support and positive reviews’ have left people appalled and feeling downright insulted.

“What does it say to our children when preference is given to an arts-based tourist attraction rather than learning, literacy and knowledge?”

Council leaders were also asked whether they had a strong enough business plan to back claims that it will be a success, and whether they were basing the plans solely on the expertise of Tony Trehy, the arts and museums manager.

In reply, council leader Mike Connolly said a business plan had not been drawn up because the model of international partnership and external funding is an extension of the business model operated by Bury Art Museum in its project exporting exhibitions to China.

He said: “It won’t be unsuccessful. The borough’s arts manager is a leading expert in the field, with extensive contacts and network experience in international art.”

Cllr Connolly also said the sculpture centre would not add to the running costs of the library and that the staffing of the centre would be achieved by a small alteration of staffing patrol rotas. The petition was voted down by Labour councillors, with Conservative councillors expressing their frustration at the decision.

Tory Cllr Roy Walker said: “I hope one day I am alive to see this decision reversed and go back to having a library befitting a town of nearly 200,000 people.”

Labour Cllr Jane Lewis, cabinet member for leisure, tourism and culture, added: “No council wants to cut services, let alone at a much-loved library, but in the circumstances we are operating under we have no choice.

“We have worked hard to keep libraries open and we have not closed any libraries. I feel we have no option but to continue with the sculpture centre.”

The sculpture centre is set to open in May.

Comments (6)

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7:56pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Eltonian says...

Good luck, Mr Trehy. I hope you do the decent thing and resign along with Councillors Connolly and Lewis when the whole thing is a complete financial and cultural failure.
Good luck, Mr Trehy. I hope you do the decent thing and resign along with Councillors Connolly and Lewis when the whole thing is a complete financial and cultural failure. Eltonian
  • Score: 8

7:58am Tue 11 Feb 14

Babbar Divino says...

Eltonian wrote:
Good luck, Mr Trehy. I hope you do the decent thing and resign along with Councillors Connolly and Lewis when the whole thing is a complete financial and cultural failure.
Not a chance they will resign they will just make their excuses and move onto some other "no brainer"

I wonder what would happen if they took this scheme to a high street bank for funding along with no business plan?
[quote][p][bold]Eltonian[/bold] wrote: Good luck, Mr Trehy. I hope you do the decent thing and resign along with Councillors Connolly and Lewis when the whole thing is a complete financial and cultural failure.[/p][/quote]Not a chance they will resign they will just make their excuses and move onto some other "no brainer" I wonder what would happen if they took this scheme to a high street bank for funding along with no business plan? Babbar Divino
  • Score: 8

3:59pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Mr. Marcus says...

People need computers, magazines and books in the library, not some vanity project!
People need computers, magazines and books in the library, not some vanity project! Mr. Marcus
  • Score: 5

9:57pm Wed 12 Feb 14

hello sweetie says...

Mr. Marcus, why would people need computers, magazines and books when there's work by people like Lawrence Weiner to look forward to, I mean just read this, taken from the Text festival website; Weiner considers language to be a sculptural material and believes that a construction in language can function as sculpture as adequately as a fabricated object.
This is his statement of intent;
THE ARTIST MAY CONSTRUCT THE WORK
THE WORK MAY BE FABRICATED
THE WORK NEED NOT BE BUILT
EACH BEING EQUAL AND CONSISTENT WITH THE INTENT OF THE ARTIST THE DECISION AS TO CONDITION RESTS WITH THE RECEIVER UPON THE OCCASION OF RECEIVERSHIP.

The writing's on the wall? It's been around for millions of years, it's sometimes called graffiti.
Let's hope another of Trehy's 'contacts', Ron Silliman joins in too. Can't get enough of 'Poetry has been Bury, Bury good to me'.
Mr. Marcus, why would people need computers, magazines and books when there's work by people like Lawrence Weiner to look forward to, I mean just read this, taken from the Text festival website; Weiner considers language to be a sculptural material and believes that a construction in language can function as sculpture as adequately as a fabricated object. This is his statement of intent; THE ARTIST MAY CONSTRUCT THE WORK THE WORK MAY BE FABRICATED THE WORK NEED NOT BE BUILT EACH BEING EQUAL AND CONSISTENT WITH THE INTENT OF THE ARTIST THE DECISION AS TO CONDITION RESTS WITH THE RECEIVER UPON THE OCCASION OF RECEIVERSHIP. The writing's on the wall? It's been around for millions of years, it's sometimes called graffiti. Let's hope another of Trehy's 'contacts', Ron Silliman joins in too. Can't get enough of 'Poetry has been Bury, Bury good to me'. hello sweetie
  • Score: 4

4:38pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Yellow Hackle says...

Well Well I am not surprised at the result, another Council crusade being pushed through against the wishes of the towns folk,
Councillors Connolly and Lewis you should hang your heads in shame!!!
Well Well I am not surprised at the result, another Council crusade being pushed through against the wishes of the towns folk, Councillors Connolly and Lewis you should hang your heads in shame!!! Yellow Hackle
  • Score: 5

7:26pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Astronette says...

Labour Bury Council have shown a rather obvious disregard towards the very people they are supposed to represent.

The vanity project that is the sculpture centre is ploughing its way through the library in a most uncaring and undemocratic fashion.

I sincerely hope that gambling away valuable learning resources and valuable public library floorspace for a minority interest is worth it.

I truly find it distasteful that a council which seems to place a great deal of importance on CULTURE can simultaneously ignore cultural heritage; not to mention intellectual heritage and civic pride.

I know who I wont be voting for.
Labour Bury Council have shown a rather obvious disregard towards the very people they are supposed to represent. The vanity project that is the sculpture centre is ploughing its way through the library in a most uncaring and undemocratic fashion. I sincerely hope that gambling away valuable learning resources and valuable public library floorspace for a minority interest is worth it. I truly find it distasteful that a council which seems to place a great deal of importance on CULTURE can simultaneously ignore cultural heritage; not to mention intellectual heritage and civic pride. I know who I wont be voting for. Astronette
  • Score: 5

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