Villagers protest over threat to ‘vital’ buses and ferry

Residents of Knott End were out in force to protest against proposed closures to their public services as a result of council cutbacks.' Stormclouds gather as residents make their feelings clear on the Fleetwood to Knott End Ferry slipway, another mode of transport earmarked for closure.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'8-1-2016
Residents of Knott End were out in force to protest against proposed closures to their public services as a result of council cutbacks.' Stormclouds gather as residents make their feelings clear on the Fleetwood to Knott End Ferry slipway, another mode of transport earmarked for closure. PIC BY ROB LOCK'8-1-2016

Concerned residents are stepping up the fight to save ‘vital’ public services under threat from council cuts.

Villagers in Knott End say they will be among the worst hit as Lancashire County Council chiefs are forced to slash a further £262m from the budget over next five years.

The ferry, library and all four bus services could be axed. Now residents are signing petitions and writing to LCC in a bid to win a reprieve as bosses struggle to meet the demands of savage cuts to their Government funding.

Coun Derek Hudson, who sits on Preesall Town Council, said: “If we don’t stand up and shout about the loss of vital services like the ferry, the library, the youth and community centre and local bus services, we will lose them.”

Fellow town councillor Pat Greenhough said losing bus services would be ‘dangerous’.

She added: “We can’t lose the access point to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

“And when children leave school they won’t be able to get to sixth form college –their education will stop unless they have parents or friends who can drive them.”

Town councillors have met Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Cat Smith to raise concerns.

Ms Smith said: “The council is facing huge Government cuts and has to make some really tough decisions.”

But she warned funding changes, which will see Government grants scrapped and replaced with councils keeping their business rates, will leave the county out of pocket.

LCC is currently asking for residents’ views on its how to make the required savings.

Leader, Coun Jennifer Mein, said: “The council can clearly not afford to continue delivering all of the services it does now, so this is a hard issue for councillors and our communities to face up to.”

Details of the consultation at www.lancashire.gov.uk