To: Mohammed Mehmet Current Chief Executive Denbighshire County Council.
Our request to you is that you put a hold on selling the Old Library building in Prestatyn, Denbighshire.
Also to set a fair price to enable Artisans Collective CIC to raise funding to buy and renovate the property and to continue our work as a community hub in the Prestatyn, Denbighshire.
Why is this important?
You are aware that the old library in Prestatyn current home to Artisans Collective CIC is offered for sale by private treaty and initial expressions of interest are invited from occupiers and developers. We have expressed our interest subject to funding, but without a fixed price we can not raise funding.
When we took occupation exactly 3 years ago we were fully aware that it could be a short term lease and in fact everything we have done to date has been always with the possibility that we could be given 2 months’ notice at any time. This has proven to be a block on obtaining funding.
Originally we wanted to use the building as a sales outlet for local artisan products, but quickly found out that there was a need for something else in the community. We now hold community art as therapy and companionship sessions for older and younger citizens, we have developed Mens shed into a standalone entity, we chair Prestatyn Dementia Friendly Community, host bereavement counselling sessions, and are Kew Gardens North Wales Community hub, plus lots more each week.
We are already working closely Healthy Prestatyn Iach who now occupy Ty Nant and we have a golden opportunity for more social prescribing and de-medicalisation activities between us.
We gave a major presentation recently to over 250 people including the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport, our work to date was much admired. We have also presented for the Welsh Audit office as an example of best practice and have given dozens of talks for the Older Peoples commissioner and Alzheimer’s society about our work here in Prestatyn, Meliden and surrounding areas.
We find it very frustrating that Artisans Collective are recognised and highly regarded locally and nationally but it seems we are not so much within our own county council. A lot of our work is based around the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and we are meeting again with the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner’s team in the near future.
If the decision to sell the old library is a purely financial decision, may we point out that the Conwy and Denbighshire Public Services Board Well-being Plan (2018 – 2023) states:
“The plan focuses on 6 priority areas:
1. The First 1,000 days of life
2. Promoting community hubs
3. Promoting mental well-being for all ages
4. Promoting resilience in older people
5. Promoting environmental resilience
6. Raising resilient and aspirational young people”
Link to the document http://conwyanddenbighshirelsb.org.uk/en/well-being-plan/
We currently focus on most of the points above, for the council to effectively close us down would mean that investment by the council would have to be found in the future to facilitate the wellbeing plan in our locality.
During the Denbighshire CC Ty Nant Development Brief Consultation DCC stated:
“A joint working group will be set up to take forward discussions on community asset transfer and the potential future uses for existing buildings on the site.”
“The Brief requires the retention of existing community facilities on site or alternative provision to be made. This could include provision for the occupants of the Old Library.”
Bangor university researchers are currently working alongside us to quantify and put a value on our 3rd sector voluntary social prescribing activities and we will share the findings in due course.
How it will be delivered
We plan to e-mail this petition to Denbighshire County Council and follow it up with a physical hard copy delivery for PR purposes.