Battle to stop sell-off of Garstang Library coming to a head

Garstang Library
Garstang Library

The campaign to save Garstang Library could soon be coming to a head.

The library is in danger of being closed due to Lancashire County Council cuts and the plans for deciding if it will stay or go have been revealed.

We will now analyse the responses, finding out what is important to the public and what they want from the library services moving forward

Lancs County Council

It comes after plans to save £65m over the next two years were announced with hundreds of much-loved services set to be axed.

One of the cost-saving measures was to reduce the county council’s library network from 74 libraries to 34, to save some £7m – and Garstang Library has been included on a provisional list of buildings to be sold.

A petition to save the library has been set up with 326 signing up to save the library. The closing date for signatures is February 16.

With National Library Day on Saturday, Julie Dobson, communications office at LCC, said: “We’ve now come to the end of stage one of the process. We will now analyse the responses, finding out what is important to the public and what they want from the library services moving forward. There’s no timeline as to when stage two will begin, but when it does, it will be a 12 week consultation with the public. On February 11 we’ll have a full council meeting and there we will see what resources we have and what money we have got to implement the changes people want to see.”

The cuts were announced in November and will see the loss of an estimated 367 full time jobs.

When the cuts were announced, LCC leader Jennifer Mein explained: “The reality of our financial situation is such that we will have to use the bulk of our reserves just to balance the budget over the next two years.

“And by 2017/18, we will only just have enough money to pay for our statutory services. The scale of the challenge means that we will have to make ever more difficult decisions.

“We will do all that we can, and are targeting our resources towards those with the greatest need, but we will have to reduce or stop services and people will notice the difference.

“Our priority will remain to protect the most vulnerable people in communities across Lancashire.”

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