St Annes’ two county councillors are warning the town’s residents to guard against complacency over which Lancashiire libraries might be set to close.
Under Lancashire County Council proposals currently out to public consulation, St Annes appears to be the only one of the five libraries in Fylde not under threayt of being lost in its present form.
But as campaigners continue to battle to preserve library services at Lytham, Ansdell, Kirkham and Freckleton, County Councillors Peter Buckley and Fabian Craig Wilson have warned that may not necessarily be the case.
The pair, who represent St Annes North and South respectively, say they have been advised that things could drastically change following the consultation process and are urging St Annes resusents to speak up for the library before the consulation closes midway through next month.
“If proposals for other Fylde libraries come forward that show substantial potential, and St Annes residents have not voiced their support for the current proposal to keep St Annes library open, LCC could decide to close St Annes library because of a perceived lack of interest by St Annes residents in keeping it open,” they said.
“St Annes’ library is vital to our community. It provides many important services, and is not just a place to borrow books. It is a home for community organisations, a place for schoolchildren to visit and learn, a place to alleviate social isolation, a safe haven for those with learning disabilities, and a place where those without internet access can access the County and other public services which are only available on-line.
“But we believe that all Fylde libraries should remain open. We would urge residents to make their support known. Residents need to visit the Lancashire County Council website and respond to the consultation. They can also visit the library to access a hard copy of the paperwork. Please make your voices heard. Your active support is vital.”
Lancashire County Council say around 2,700 responses have been received so far from across the county since the launch of the public consultation over what it terms its ‘property review’ on May 18.
The council is completely reappraising how frontline services are delivered as it looks to save the millions of pounds required by reducing the number of buildings the council owns and rents.
County Coun David Borrow, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council with responsibility for finance, said: “We’re very keen for people to look at how they may be affected and respond to the consultation to help us shape the final proposals.” Under the plans, services would be brought together to form a network of multi-functional buildings known as Neighbourhood Centres.