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Sandfields Library to remain in place as Afan Lido switch plan is scrapped

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 26, 2013

By paul lewis

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LEISURE chiefs have dropped controversial plans to shut Sandfields Library in Port Talbot.

Their proposals to close the branch in Morrison Road and relocate it in the new Afan Lido at Aberavon Beach caused uproar.

Cabinet members have now approved the findings of the task and finish group set up to investigate and make recommendations on the £13 million-plus Lido.

And those recommendations include leaving the library where it is — in the heart of the community.

The task and finish group's recommendations went before the cabinet scrutiny committee for discussion before the cabinet meeting.

Committee members unanimously supported those recommendations, with Sandfields members Ted Latham and Lella James both highlighting the issue of the library.

"That Sandfields Library is going to stay is particularly welcome," said Mr Latham. "That was a thorn in the side of everybody down there."

Mrs James added: "I'm absolutely delighted that the library is going to be kept.

"We are building a new school 50 yards away, and the library is very well used by the existing Glanymor school.

"It's in the heart of the shopping centre, which encourages people to use the shops.

"We are helping the small traders in the heart of the biggest estate in Wales, and I am very pleased we have taken that on board."

The original Afan Lido was devastated by fire in December, 2009.

Its replacement will be built on Hollywood Park, with facilities including an eight-lane pool and a four-court sports hall.

Seaway Parade Community Education Centre will be closed, with a new youth club provided within the Lido.

New Sandfields Aberavon will take over Dalton Road Community Centre, while cabinet approved transferring Aberavon Community Centre in Michna Street to community control.

Mr Latham said: "These community centres are not closing.

"They are just going to be transferred, and the fact that they are remaining open is welcome."

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