Anxious wait as future of libraries is decided

Fylde residents face an anxious wait over what the future holds for the area's libraries.

Thursday, 18th August 2016, 11:00 am
A read-in held by the Friends of Ansdell Library outside the building as part of their campaign to prevent the library's closure

A 12-week consultation period over the fate of more than 100 County Council buildings across Lancashire, including four of Fylde‘s five libraries, ended on Sunday - and councillors will now consider the public feedback over the issue before announcing their decision early next month.

Thousands of people have responded to the consultation and the decision will be taken at a Cabinet meeting on September 8 as the County Council looks to save £200m by 2020-21.

Ansdell, Lytham, Kirkham and Freckleton libraries are all under threat iof closure inb their current form and the Friends of Ansdell libraries delivered a petition of 2,447 signatures to County Hall just last Friday, after similar submissions from elsewhere.

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Louise McLaren, chairman of the Friends, said: “It’s a fantastic total as it covers the majority of the population of Ansdell.

“We have also written to every Cabinet member asking them to abandon their closure strategy and to every county councillor seeking their support for alternative community-led initiatives to be considered as an alternative to the closure of the building.

”We are still actively fighting the closure of Ansdell Library with the support of the residents and businesses of Ansdell and our local councillors.”

County Councillor David Borrow, deputy leader for Lancashire County Council, said: “This is a difficult process for everyone involved but the ongoing cuts in central government funding combined with rising demand for some of our services means we have no choice but to make changes to the way we deliver them.

“Our officers now have a great deal of work to do to analyse all the responses.”