Changes to where we provide your services

How are services affected?


Library services are continuing to be provided right across Lancashire with 39 full library services and 2 satellite libraries (but the buildings in the Bacup, Whitworth and Brierfield areas are still under consideration) as part of the neighbourhood centres, a mobile library service, a digital loan service, a home service, and a school library service.

Satellite libraries will be unstaffed library facilities within a neighbourhood centre building with other services being delivered alongside them. Satellite libraries will have a book stock and self-service technology as well as computer provision and customers will be able to request items in the same way that they can at other libraries.

There will be a mobile library service operating and we will now review our mobile routes so that they best meet the needs of our customers across the county. We will also continue to extend our free e-book service which allows our customers to borrow books for the same loan period as physical books. These can be easily accessed via eReaders, computers, tablets, smart-phones and other devices as an alternative to borrowing traditional printed material. This is becoming an increasingly popular way to borrow books and issues have increased by over 40% in the last year.

There is also a free of charge home library service if you are unable to get to a library building because of your age, disability or ill health. Books and audio visual material are chosen by library staff for friends and relatives to collect. Loans can be delivered by volunteers if satisfactory arrangements for collection cannot be made.

A school library service is also available by subscription to schools in Lancashire and is committed to inspiring young readers to become lifelong learners with access to over 400,000 titles.

As a result of the changes to where libraries are located across Lancashire:

  • at least 95% of people living in densely populated areas live within 2 miles of a library or satellite service.
  • at least 90% of people living in medium density populated areas live within 2.5 miles of a library or satellite service or 0.25 miles of a mobile library stop.
  • at least 70% of people living in sparsely populated areas live within 3 miles of a library or satellite service or within 0.25 miles of a mobile library stop.

It is also important to remember that the universal library offer means that Lancashire residents who are members of the library service can use library services in other local authority areas for free as well.

Wellbeing, Prevention and Early Help Services

These services exist to help make sure all children and young people are able to have a good start in life, offering help and support where needed at the earliest opportunity. They include services for children and their families, and young people's services.

The revised service focuses on those children, young people and their families who are most in need and need more intensive support. The support is delivered in neighbourhood centres that focus on children 0-11 years, young people 12-19+ years or the whole age range 0-19+ years. This includes group based and drop-in support, learning and developmental activities as well as one to one targeted support for children, young people and their families. 94% of the most deprived 0-4 year olds remain within 1.5 miles of a children's centre service.

The service is also delivered through outreach provision, not necessarily delivered from a Lancashire County Council building but meeting the particular needs of individuals and groups in more remote communities. The outreach support is provided at locations like schools, health centres, cafes and individuals' own homes.

Support is also provided from eight mobile centres which have the flexibility of being able to locate in 'hotspot' areas where there may be high levels of anti-social behaviour or young people are needing the help most.

Registration Service

This provides services for people to register important life events including births, marriages and deaths. The service continues to run in key locations across Lancashire but may now be located in a neighbourhood centre, sharing the building with one or more services.

Children's Services

Social workers and other staff provide support to children, young people and their families and often have meetings with them in a variety of buildings across the county. This service will operate from a number of neighbourhood centres to cover the different districts.

Youth Offending Team

These services are designed to prevent offending by children and young people and to improve the way young people are dealt with should they become involved in the criminal justice system. The service will be co-located with services for young people where possible.

Adult Disability Day Service

This involves a range of services for adults with a disability. It is a shared service for people with learning disabilities and people with physical disabilities.

Older People's Day Service

This involves day care for older people but does not include residential care services.

Welfare Rights

This service offers free, impartial and independent advice and support on a range of welfare benefits from various bases around the county. The service has a central administrative base in Preston and will use the flexible accommodation at neighbourhood centres to reach communities as effectively as possible. The precise way in which the service is made available at different buildings will vary based on need.

What we considered

To identify where the neighbourhood centres should be located we analysed a lot of different information. This included:

  • A review of key facts about each building
    For example, we considered:
    • how close each building is to the local population
    • where each building is compared to where our services are most in demand
    • public transport links
    • building costs
  • Feedback from county councillors and partner organisations.
    We invited county councillors to contribute their views about which buildings should be retained based on their knowledge of the area they serve. We also listened to the views of other public sector organisations.
  • Consideration of how our services are planned to change in the future.
    All of the council's services are transforming in some way over the next few years and where our services are located should be where there is most need for them.