Morecambe Library to remain fully open

Morecambe Library.
Morecambe Library.

Plans to turn Morecambe Library into a self-service 'satellite' library have been scrapped.

Poulton Children's Centre, which was also under threat, will also remain open.

But Bolton-le-Sands Library and Silverdale Library will close unless somebody new comes forward to run them.

Lancashire County Council made the announcements on Friday evening after reviewing findings from a public consultation into proposals to sell off and reduce services in many of its buildings.

As part of a new property strategy to cut costs, the county council also announced that Balmoral Children's centre in Morecambe, Firbank Children's centre next to Ridge Primary School in Lancaster, Galgate Children's Centre and Heysham Children's Centre will no longer be run by the county council from March 31 2017.

But there is a lifeline for these centres, as community groups have shown interest in taking these facilities over.

A business case has been put in for Heysham Children's Centre to continue under new ownership although nothing has yet been confirmed.

Appletree Children's centre, Sefton drive social care, Halton Library and Children's Centre, Heysham Library, Thorpe View adult day services, Lancaster Central Library, Carnforth Hub, Vale View day centre, Westgate Children's centre, Carnforth Library, Poulton Children's Centre will all remain as Lancashire County Council facilities

Lune Park Children's Centre, White Cross education centre and Morecambe Library will all become 'neighbourhood centres' with Morecambe Library services retained with a full time librarian service.

Residents had campaigned for Morecambe Library and local children's centres to remain as they are.

Morecambe county councillor Darren Clifford said: "This strategy forms a part of the council's efforts to address the unprecedented levels of cuts imposed by central government on the council's funding over recent years.

"The strategy seeks to establish a range of neighbourhood centres which can act as 'multi use' buildings, allowing some other buildings to be disposed of.

"The main areas of the council's work to be affected are libraries, children's centres and youth and community centres. Along with the disposal of buildings and the inevitable relocating of some services, the county council is investing £840,000 in the Mobile Library Service and suggesting a new model for an 'Independent Community Library Offer'.

"Whilst the advertised proposals are likely to be the extent of county council's 'offer' in terms of available resources, it is important to note that there have been numerous expressions of interest from district, town and parish councils as well as other community groups. This could well see some buildings and even some of the services continuing even as the county council is forced to reduce or withdraw funding.

"I'd like to say this has been an awful process to go through, and not something I ever thought I'd have to do when I became a local councillor. However, the level of cuts we face mean we are having to take some really tough decisions. It seems that the Tories' answer to this is for the council to borrow some money in order to put these decisions off for two years. Personally, I think that's not a credible solution to put before our residents. Locally, I'd like to point out that I've been working really hard to bring partners together to the table and want to thank the community for all they've done. Where there isn't an immediate solution to some services we will continue to work with interested parties to find the best solution."

There will be a full story in the newspaper his week and more details on our website to come.