A WAR of words has broken out between Blackpool’s council leader and one of the town’s MPs over library opening hours.
Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard has accused Coun Simon Blackburn of being rude towards him in a written reply to his request for Grange Park Library to stay open later.
In return, Coun Blackburn has said Mr Maynard should “grow up”.
The row began when the MP wrote to Coun Blackburn asking the council to consider opening the library, at the estate’s City Learning Centre, an extra hour one night a week to start an adult literacy book club.
In his written reply, Coun Blackburn said: “I admire your cheek, bearing in mind your fellow Conservatives on Blackpool Council wanted to close the library.”
Mr Maynard branded the response “rude”.
He said; “I was very disappointed Coun Blackburn took the appalling tone he did.
“I really wanted to reach out and work with the council to find a way in which this proposed book club could be set up.
“I wrote to Coun Blackburn, in what I thought were polite terms. I was astonished by his rude reply in which he completely dismissed an idea that would benefit local residents and help them improve their reading.”
Coun Blackburn responded: “Paul Maynard needs to grow up.
“We saved Boundary Library from Tory closure, and our two excellent Labour councillors, Gillian Campbell and Brian Docherty, have invested many thousands in its facilities over the past 18 months – which he would know if he bothered to invite them to his meeting.
“We are hoping to announce extended opening times over the next 12 months, but for him to pitch up on Grange Park once every 18 months, in front of a hand-picked audience, and pretend he cares about the issues in the area is beyond nauseating.”