Library plans moving forward as new group set up

Thornton Library
Thornton Library

Proposals to reopen Thornton Library are to be considered by Lancashire County Council’s cabinet this month.

The authority agreed plans in early July for the phased reopening of 14 libraries, nine of which will be run by the county council and five as independent community libraries.

Thornton Library was one of 12 libraries about which decisions were deferred to allow time for further consideration.

A report to the cabinet meeting on Thursday August 10 outlines that the council had been considering proposals to transfer ownership of the library to local groups.

However, Thornton Cleveleys Gala Committee has now said it would prefer the county council to operate a library service. It is now proposed to add Thornton Library to those which will reopen between November 2017 and April 2018.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “Libraries are a vital service at the heart of our communities, offering free access to books and information, as well as being a place where communities can get together.

“We are grateful to all the voluntary and community groups who have and continue to commit time and resources into the library service and its future development.

“We want to improve people’s access to libraries as soon as we can.

“I am pleased that cabinet will now consider adding Thornton to those we will reopen in the coming months.”

A new Friends of Thornton Gala Group has been set up to support the facility and a first meeting of the group will be held at the Crossbar and Grill at Poolfoot Farm on August 31 at 6pm.

A spokesman said: “Thornton Cleveleys Gala Committee has withdrawn a bid to run the library as a community group after Lancashire County Council (LCC) stated it would reopen the library as part of the Lancashire Library Network, which would be better for the people of Thornton.

“We are pleased it is to be re-opened. However, there was such a positive response to using the facility as a community centre as well, with lots of groups and clubs wishing to use the building, that LCC would like to discuss community use along with there services and such a large number of people offered to volunteer and get involved.

“A group will be set up for anyone to join and to help to facilitate community use and to protect the library in the future.”