Mum’s library plea as fight hits parliament

Nicky Frankland and five-year-old daughter Belle-Elise Parkin are concerned about the proposed closure of Cleveleys library
Nicky Frankland and five-year-old daughter Belle-Elise Parkin are concerned about the proposed closure of Cleveleys library
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A woman who is home schooling her autistic daughter has called on Lancashire County Council not to shut down a space in which she feels safe.

Nicky Frankland, 40, from Thornton, saw her tale and that of five-year-old Belle being mentioned in Westminster last week when MP Paul Maynard took his battle to save two Wyre libraries to the halls of power.

And she believes the community, as well as Belle, would be losing out should the Cleveleys library – a quiet haven for learning – be closed.

Mum-of-four Nicky, 40, from Woodland Avenue in Thornton, is angry at the potential loss of Cleveleys Library and the neighbouring Childrens’ Centre.

She said: “I lived in France for 10 years where they don’t have a system like ours, there is nothing like the provision.

“We came home in 2013 and when I had my third daughter, Belle, we would use the children’s centre all the time.

“There were fantastic toddler groups and there was so much help on offer.

“It’s just a hive of activity.”

And the County Council-run venue became a haven once more when Belle began struggling at school.

“She started at a mainstream school in September but we soon knew something wasn’t right,” said Nicky.

“She found it hard to settle.

“It is suspected Belle has Asperger’s, we’re waiting for a diagnosis.

“But I made the decision to school her at home.

“We’ve had lots of help from the Childrens’ Centre.

“Now we’re at the library at least once a week.

“It’s the perfect space for her.

“It’s peaceful and quiet.

“Belle can’t cope with noise.”

And with Belle learning at home, Nicky is pleased to have a free resource like the library on her doorstep.

She said: “When we’re learning together and we want to find something out we head straight to the library to get what we need.

“Yes, I suppose we could go to Poulton or Fleetwood, but this is in the community, on the doorstep.”

Lancashire County Council is currently consulting on plans to close more than 200 buildings as part of a plan to save £270m.

Residents have until October to share their views on the proposals and can find out more at www.lancashire.gov.uk