Wyre and Fylde libraries sell-off decision challenge

Protesters calling for Cleveleys Library to be saved
Protesters calling for Cleveleys Library to be saved

County councillors have been asked to reconsider the controversial sell off of library and children’s services buildings in Wyre and Fylde.

Lancashire County Council last week approved the sale of more than 100 buildings across the county – including Lytham, Freckleton, Thornton, Northfleet, Kirkham and Cleveleys libraries.

Protesters calling for Cleveleys Library to be saved

Some services will be relocated to ‘Neighbourhood Centres’ which will house multiple council services under one roof.

Now, a cross-party group of seven councillors – including two Labour members – want the decision to close the buildings and relocate many services, “called in” and reviewed.

A special meeting of the county council’s Scrutiny Committee on Thursday September 22 at 3pm will now debate whether to ask the cabinet to reconsider its decision.

The special meeting of the scrutiny committee was requested by Tory group leader Coun Geoff Driver, his deputy Coun Albert Atkinson, fellow Tories Couns Michael Green and Susie Charles ,Labour members Couns Kim Snape and Bev Murray and Green councillor Gina Dowding.

Coun Geoff Driver, made an early election pledge to reopen any closed libraries and support any voluntary groups which step in to run any libraries if the Conservatives win control at the May elections.

He said: “Since they made the decision to close all these properties they’ve now realised, as we kept telling them, that the situation simply isn’t as bad as it was.”

He said the predicted financial shortfall for 2020/21 now stood a £148m when earlier predictions had been £262m.

He added: “I can find them another £50m without breaking sweat.”