MP raises spectre of library sell offs

Paul Maynard
Paul Maynard

An MP has raised concerns Lancashire County Council could sell off library buildings before the outcome of public bids can be decided.

Writing to libraries minister Rob Wilson, Paul Maynard MP made his fears clear.

The minister is currently deciding whether or not to hold a public inquiry into the decision to shut 29 libraries across the county.

Mr Maynard was a key figure in getting the minister involved, accusing Lancashire County Council of breaching the terms of the 1964 libraries act.

And Mr Maynard is worried County Hall may sell Fylde coast buildings before volunteers have had their bids appraised.

He said: “Lancashire County Council has not yet responded to bids in Thornton and Cleveleys and the concern from both community groups is that County is lining up to sell the buildings commercially before either the Department concludes its considerations for a public enquiry or before the council makes a decision on the community bids.

“I share these concerns.”

Coun David Borrow, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council insisted all community bids were being considered.

He said: “ We are evaluating all community bids as quickly as possible but we need to ensure this is done thoroughly. My aim is to complete this in March if possible. Government is aware of this process but has not sought to stop us implementing decisions made by council. Community groups are pressing us for decisions as soon as possible.”