Thursday, June 14, 2018
Lancashire County Council's cabinet has agreed plans to run Lytham library from the Assembly Rooms, on Dicconson Terrace.
The decision made today (Thursday 14 June), follows a detailed appraisal of possible options that considered the needs of future service delivery, and the costs and implications of the provision of a library in Lytham.
A decision had previously been deferred about Lytham Library to allow time for further consideration and to inform the recommendations that were considered.
The Assembly Rooms are owned by Fylde Borough Council and operated by Lytham Town Trust.
County Councillor Aidy Riggott, Lancashire County Council's lead member for economic development and cultural services, said: "The Friends of Lytham Library and Institute and the Lytham Town Trust both submitted business cases to us, which we found very helpful. These were considered on top of the work that was done by officers to assess the suitability of potential locations for a modern library service.
"This decision took account of the installation cost, ongoing premises cost and liability, the needs of the community and the service requirements to run a sustainable and efficient library. We also liaised with Fylde Borough Council since they are the owners of both the Assembly Rooms and Lytham Institute buildings.
"The options appraisal proved to be a very useful and fair way of helping cabinet to identify the most appropriate long-term home for a library in the town. Whilst we understand the depth of feeling of some residents to locate the library service in the Institute, it would cost the taxpayer more than double the amount to implement and would be financially irresponsible.
"The decision to run Lytham library from the Assembly Rooms and work with Lytham Town Trust will also help to support the refurbishment and restoration of Lytham Hall."
This decision made by Cabinet means that 13 libraries will be reopened.
The three options that cabinet considered were the future running of the library from the Assembly Rooms, the Lytham Institute or the Lancashire County Council offices in Hastings Place.
A spokesman for Fylde Borough Council said: ‘We are pleased that the County Councils Cabinet have made a decision to ensure the future of a library service in Lytham. The decision to locate the reinstated library service in the Assembly Rooms and to give notice on the user rights at Lytham Institute will mean that Fylde Council will have control of the Institute without any conditions.
"Fylde members and officers have not pre-empted the County Council decision and as such have not considered any options for the use of Lytham Institute in the event that user rights are removed, to do so could have unduly influenced the decision.
"There will be a period of time now to carry out the necessary process to remove the user rights and return control of the Institute back to Fylde council. This time will be used to consider all possible options for the use of the Institute which will include community engagement and consideration of the proposals that had been presented to the County Council as part of a detailed, costed options appraisal."
Anyone who lives or works in Lancashire can join a Lancashire library, either online or by visiting in person. Membership is free and there are no age restrictions.
More information about Lancashire libraries is available at www.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries, or by calling 0300 123 6703.
Following the closure of 26 of the county's 73 libraries towards the end of 2016, the county council's new administration, elected in May 2017, is committed to reopening as many libraries as possible.
A phased reopening of libraries has taken place in recent months.
Tagged as: Libraries and Archives