Plans to close Aberaeron’s library and relocate it into Ceredigion County Council’s head office at Penmorfa have been met with anger.

A public consultation has been launched into the future of the former town hall in the centre of Aberaeron, with a plan to move the library into Penmorfa, just outside the town.

The plan to move the library has been described as ‘exciting’ by Cabinet member Cllr Catrin MS Davies.

Aberaeron county councillor Elizabeth Evans and Liberal Democrat leader in Ceredigion, described the plans as an ‘attempt to pull the wool over our eyes’.

Speaking following the launch of the consultation, Cllr Evans said: “The proposal to move the town’s library up to Penmorfa as a money saving measure is only half the story.

“What the Plaid Cymru cabinet is seeking to do is an attempt at re-branding the centre of Ceredigion’s administration from a half-full office block into a public-facing building.

“This is simply pulling the wool over our eyes.

Penmorfa Ceredigion
The consultation is considering moving library services up the hill to Penmorfa (Cambrian News)

“The public criticism of the home working strategy has clearly hit a nerve, and this is a knee-jerk response.

“The residents of Aberaeron and the larger community will oppose this decision, so too will local businesses, as they will see footfall reduce in the town as a result.

“There is a connection between people who use the library and the spend in the town, the two cannot be separated.

“The public enquiry desk in the town library is a lifeline for residents of all ages and is completely accessible. “What the cabinet are proposing is the equivalent of an out-of-town store.

“Show me a town in the UK which doesn’t have a town centre library, and which doesn’t put the needs of its resident's first.

“I’m placing this proposal firmly at the door of Plaid Cymru, it is, and has been, far too easy to blame officers for decisions that are made in the council.”

Ceredigion County Council’s proposal to move the library it says will modernise library provision, with the introduction of a sewing machine, 3D printer and space for training and workshops.

The council adds that relocation would help it in its ‘Net Zero ambitions’ through ‘the reduction of the carbon footprint of the library service’.

Cllr Catrin M S Davies, Cabinet Member responsible for Customer Contact, ICT and Digital, said: “We are keen to deliver as many services to Ceredigion residents as possible and to deliver those services sustainably and efficiently.

“We want to do this in collaboration with residents and consulting with the public in this way allows us to hear everybody’s views on the potential changes. The improved service provision proposed in Aberaeron are exciting and include, providing a larger Library as well as more room for users to work and book a dedicated work space, creating a dedicated children's library collection and reading area, modernising the technology for users and staff and creating a new reception area that will support the wider community.”