Council denies filming ban on protest videos at under-threat libraries

A row has broken out over claims protests at Lancashire libraries have been banned.

Saturday, 21st May 2016, 2:00 pm
County Coun Andrea Kay
County Coun Andrea Kay

Last month Lancashire County Council revealed proposals to close hundreds of buildings including libraries at Thornton and Cleveleys.

In response, campaigners have set up an online appeal, calling on local residents to post videos explaining why their local branch is important to them.

But County Coun Andrea Kay is now claiming those opposed to the closure plans are being barred from filming inside or outside County property.

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It’s a claim which has been denied by County Hall who say no such order has been issued to library staff.

Coun Kay, who represents Cleveleys, said campaigners had complained to her about being banned from filming.

She said: “All we want to do is show the powers-that-be just what they are proposing will mean.

“They are making a decision without hearing the sentiment from the community or listening to any alternatives. They know it is wrong which is why they are banning us from filming or taking photos in the libraries – which are an open public facility.”

But a County Hall spokesman made it clear there was no ban in place and nobody should be stopped from filming, particularly if they were doing so outside a library.

Lancashire County Council is currently carrying out a 12 week consultation on the closure plans which will also affect children’s and young people’s centres as well as a number of libraries in Fylde.

Wyre Council’s controlling Conservative Group has proposed taking control of the borough’s libraries as part of a not-for-profit community interest company. They have called on Lancashire County Council to enter talks.

Coun Kay said: “Even after Conservative councillors pointed out the figures were wrong they are still determined to close these libraries down. The money was there and they chose to ignore it, and an alternative is viable and they chose not to listen.”