‘Save Garstang Library’ campaign launched

Garstang Library
Garstang Library

A campaign to save Garstang Library from county council cuts has begun.

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

County Councillor for Garstang Sandra Perkins

County Councillor for Garstang Sandra Perkins

One of these 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.

But now county councillor for Garstang, Sandra Perkins, wants the town to rally together in an attempt to save the “vital” resource.

She said: “The library is one of two community spaces in the town and it is something we really shouldn’t be losing.

“I want people to really get behind this and write to show their support.

I want people to really get behind this and write to show their support

County Coun Sandra Perkins

“I’m putting together a petition for people to sign because although the decision hasn’t been finalised we want to pre-empt any closure.”

Coun Perkins says she had a meeting with Lancashire County Council leader Jennifer Mein and deputy leader David Borrow, cabinet member with responsibility for finance, yesterday to discuss the future of the library, which finalised her decision to start the campaign.

She said: “The outcome of the meeting was that no decision has been made as to which libraries will close and so its a good chance for me to do something to show the public’s feeling.

“I have strong support from the parish council, the local schools and the general public but I need people to show how much we need the library by writing letters and signing the petition.”

Coun Perkins says the petition will be stationed at the library on Windsor Road and any letters should be sent to sandra.perkins@lancashire.gov.uk

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.”

Among the services likely to be affected are all the county’s libraries and museums.

There is also likely to be cuts to rural bus subsidies and a dramatic decrease in the budget for road repairs.

The county council will

discuss and ratify the cuts, which come after the council’s own central government funding was slashed, at a meeting of the full council on February 17.