Proposals to shut a number of libraries and children’s centres in Preston and South Ribble are to be formally consulted on.Advertisement
Prestonians are being given a chance to have their say during a 12-week period about plans to close buildings including Fulwood library.
Lancashire County Council says shutting the 106 buildings, with 11 across Preston and South Ribble, would save up to £2m per year.
The county council needs to save £200m by 2020 due to cutbacks in the money it receives from central government.
County councillors on Thursday agreed the time-scale for the closure plan, with a final decision on which buildings are to close coming later this year.
Leader of the county council councillor Jenny Mein said: “The severity of the county council’s financial position cannot be overstated, and the ongoing cuts in central government funding combined with rising demand for our services mean the only way we can maintain the services that people rely on is to deliver them in a different way.
“Whilst people can have a strong connection to individual buildings, our focus has to be on how we deliver our services effectively. Although these proposals are very difficult ones for councillors to have to consider, our aim is to come up with a solution that still gives everyone in Lancashire good access to good services, even though some will have to be further away than they are now.
“These proposals are the result a lot of hard work to assess where services should be located, taking account of things such as geographic spread, the needs of different communities, and access issues such as how easily they can be reached using public transport.
“We’re very keen for people to express their views and help shape the final proposals. We’ll be holding a comprehensive 12-week consultation to make sure everyone has the chance to tell us what they think, and will have the information people need available at libraries and children’s centres throughout Lancashire and online.”
Buildings that could be shut in Preston and South Ribble include Fulwood, Bamber Bridge, Penwortham and Lostock Hall libraries. The total number of libraries in Lancashire would go from 73 to 44.
The Preston East, St Lawrence, Longton, Kingsfold, Bamber Bridge and Lostock Hall children’s’ centres would also close.
The consultation is due to formally begin on Wednesday 18 May.
Do you live near any of the earmarked buildings? What do you think of the plans? Let us know in the comments below