Library saved but other sites could be shut

Leyland Library
Leyland Library

Campaigners fighting to save Leyland Library can breathe a sigh of relief after it escaped the axe.

Cash-strapped Lancashire County Council has confirmed the 105 council premises it is proposing to shut.

There was some positive news for Leyland residents as the town’s library was not among the 37 that could close their doors.

It follows a campaign which saw people signing a petition calling for the library to be retained.

Coun Claire Hamilton, who represents Leyland central ward on South Ribble Council and campaigned to save the library, said: “We are grateful to all the residents who were involved. The petition was handed in to the cabinet member.

“It’s a great asset to the local community so we are delighted that it’s being kept open.”

But other buildings in Leyland and South Ribble have been named on the list of proposed closures.

Wellfield Children’s Centre in Leyland could close, along with Bamber Bridge Children’s Centre, Bamber Bridge Library, Kingsfold Children’s Centre, Longton Children’s Centre, Lostock Hall Library and Children’s Centre, Penwortham Library, and Penwortham Young People’s Centre.

Coun Hamilton said: “The first thing to remember is that these proposed cuts are a direct result of the savage and unfair central government cuts to local services in Lancashire.

“This is still a consultation but I am bitterly disappointed that the Conservative Government austerity ideology has put at risk many valued local facilities.

“I would urge every resident to take part in the consultation to make our feeling on these proposed cuts clearly heard.”

County council needs to save £200m by 2020/21 due to cuts to its budget and rising demand for services.

Bosses are suggesting bringing services together to form “multi-functional buildings”, known as neighbourhood centres, which would provide services in one place.

Subject to cabinet approval, a 12-week consultation is due to begin on May 18.

County council leader Coun Jenny Mein said: “These proposals are very difficult ones for councillors to have to consider, but our aim is to come up with a solution that still gives everyone in Lancashire good access to good services, even though some will have to be further away than they are now.”