Rallying call to reopen library

Lytham Library closed on September 30, 2016
Lytham Library closed on September 30, 2016

A group looking to see Lytham library reopen has issued a rallying call ahead of a public meeting next week.

It’s 12 months this week since the library in Clifton Street was closed along with that in Freckleton and others across the county as part of budget cuts by the then Labour administration at County Hall.

Since then, the now ruling Conservatives have pledged to reopen as many closed library as possible, but Lytham and Freckleton remain in limbo.

It is a situation compounded by the fact that St Annes Library has been closed until the New Year for repair work following a fall of debris from the ceiling.

The Friends of Lytham Library and Institute Group is holding a public meeting in the Hewitt Rooms at the library next Wednesday, October 4 at 6pm.

Friends chairman Christine Marshall said: “This is a really important issue for Lytham as the building is an iconic landmark in the town and has a rich history going right back to 1878.

“It was created by the community for the community, so please if you don’t want to see this building sold off and you would like the library to be restored in it as promised, do come and show your support by attending this important meeting. We need to show those in charge of the decisions that Lytham really does want its library back.”

Lytham archivist David Hoyle said: “Now St Annes Library is closed for the rest of the year would it not be a wise move to empty it and move everything to Lytham? That would give the workforce who are refurbishing St Anne’s library room to work without fear of damaging the books.”

County Coun Peter Buckley, County Council cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “We want to reopen the libraries which were closed as soon as we can, however there is a significant amount of work to do to improve the condition of some buildings, recruit and train staff, reconnect ICT and other infrastructure and reallocate book stock.

“We are currently working with contractors on a schedule of work needed for the libraries which are due to reopen, including Freckleton, and hope to be able to let people know when we’re proposing to reopen them in the coming weeks.

“We have deferred decisions about reopening some libraries, including Lytham, as there are other issues that need to be considered, however a report is being prepared for the Cabinet meeting in November which will set out the situation regarding Lytham Library and provide the basis for further progress.”

Further details about the Friends of Lytham Library and Wednesday’s meeting from Chris Marshall on 01253 712775.