More views sought on plans to close libraries and children’s centres

More views sought on plans to close libraries and children’s centres

by Frank Martin (June 2016)

LANCASHIRE County Council is encouraging more residents to have their say on its property review, which sees libraries in West Lancashire threatened with closure.

The authority has already received around 1,000 responses since the launch of a public consultation on May 18.

The consultation, running for 12-and-a-half weeks, seeks resdients views on plans to save millions of pounds by reducing the number of buildings the council owns and rents.

Under the proposals put out for public consultation by the authority Up Holland library at Hall Green, Burscough library in Mill Lane and Parbold library on The Common would be closed.

Also facing the axe are St John’s Children's Centre in Skelmersdale, Hesketh with Becconsall Children’s Centre and Moorgate Children’s Centre, Ormskirk, along with the children’s social care facility at Fairlie, Skelmersdale and Ormskirk’s Derby Street day centre for older people.

County Councillor David Borrow, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council with responsibility for finance, said: “Through the property strategy we aim to ensure that we have the right buildings to provide good access to good services, with a significantly reduced budget.

“We’ve looked at a wide range of factors to try and make sure services are in the right place. We understand the strong attachment people have to local services and buildings and I’d encourage as many people as possible to respond to this consultation.”

Most responses so far have been received via the county council website www.lancashire.gov.uk, which also features an interactive map highlighting the proposed changes.

Meanwhile anyone who has completed a response using the localised version is being invited to make any additional comments they may have after a production error was found in the original printed document.

County Councillor Borrow added: “The easiest way to take part is to use the website if you’re able to. The interactive map is particularly helpful in understanding where services are provided now and where they're proposed to be in future.

Omitted

“We’ve made hard copies of the consultation document available as well and unfortunately one of the consultation questions was omitted in error from the localised versions.

“This has been quickly rectified so few people will have completed one of these, but we’d like everyone who has done so to be aware of it and to feel free to complete the extra question if they have anything else to add to the comments they’ve already made.”

Members of the public, community groups and organisations are also being urged to come forward if they have an interest in taking on responsibility for buildings included in the proposals.

The county council needs to save £200m by 2020/21 as a result of ongoing government cuts to its budget and rising demand for services. The consultation is due to end on Sunday, August 14 and a final decision will be taken later in the year. 

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