Village takes on library fight

The protest against proposed cuts to local libraries switches to Freckleton this weekend as the Friends organisation at the village library stage a read-in.
Freckleton LibraryFreckleton Library
Freckleton Library

Following a similar event at Ansdell, which was followed by a public meeting, and a walk between St Annes, Ansdell and Lytham libraries last month, the villagers are eager to make the point about the value of their library in the face of Lancashire County Council’s plan to shut 40 of the 74 libraries across the county.

Friends spokesman Marjorie Whitehead, a member of Freckleton Parish Council, said: “We are making villagers aware of the dangers of losing our library, have been issuing leaflets sponsored by local councillor Keith MacKay throughout the village.

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“Our reader will be Peter Shakeshaft, the prominent local historian and author, and we have lots of ideas about the future of the library. We hope the read-in will be well supported.”

The County Council is looking to make £262m of budget cuts by 2020.

They will decide later this year which libraries across the county are to close, with the next phase of a detailed consultation process set to get under way next month.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “There has already been some input from the public about what they want to see in the libraries and which services are most important to them.

“We are still analysing the results of that consultation.

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“Once that is done, the next phase will follow, with a detailed look at where those services should be located.”

The spokesman said the next consultation phase will begin in May and last for 12 weeks, after which people’s views will be taken into consideration.

Saturday’s read-in at Frecklton library in Preston Old Road runs from 10am to noon.