Cabinet approves proposals about libraries in Lytham and Rishton

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Proposals about the future of two libraries were agreed by Lancashire County Council's cabinet today (Thursday 9 November).

Cabinet has so far made decisions to reopen 13 libraries, and agreed to transfer the ownership of a further six libraries to local organisations which will operate them as independent community libraries. The county council is continuing work towards reopening libraries in all of the areas where libraries were closed.

Lytham Library and Rishton Library were among those libraries about which decisions had been deferred to allow time for further consideration.

Cabinet gave permission for an appraisal of possible options for a future library service in Lytham to be carried out. The library and registration service was previously delivered from Lytham Institute, but the building is being assessed for its suitability for future service requirements. A range of options for future service delivery will be considered, which could include the Assembly Rooms, the Lytham Institute or existing LCC offices on Hastings Place.

Rishton Library was declared surplus in September 2016 and remains operational pending completion of works to Copper House Children's Centre, Rishton to install a 'satellite' library service. The library is subject to a proposal for a community asset transfer from a community group.

Cabinet agreed to turn down the proposal for a community asset transfer for Rishton library and to overturn the decision to make it surplus to county council requirements. Rishton library remains operational and will now continue to stay open.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said:

"Libraries act as vital hubs at the heart of our communities, offering a place where communities can get together, as well as free access to books and information.

"We have committed to reopening libraries where they've been closed, whether they're run by the county council or independently by community organisations, and we are grateful to all the voluntary and community groups who have shown such commitment to the library service and its future development.

"In the case of Rishton Library it makes sense for the county council to retain ownership of the building in order for it to deliver services directly and I am delighted that the library will continue to stay open.

"The appraisal of options for a library service in Lytham is also a welcome step forward and will help to identify the most appropriate long-term home for a library for the town."

The county council has agreed a package of help to establish community-run libraries, which includes £5,000 to provide public internet access and cover set-up costs, as well as shelving, an initial supply of books from the county's store, and advice from a dedicated community library manager. When an independent community library becomes operational, the council will also continue to provide support through an annual grant of £1,000 to provide public internet access.

Tagged as: Libraries and Archives

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