House of Lords challenge to Lancashire’s library cuts

Lord Tony Greaves
Lord Tony Greaves

Lancashire’s plan to shut 40 of its 74 libraries was being challenged in the House of Lords today as county councillors were meeting in Preston to vote through the biggest raft of cuts in living memory.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Tony Greaves was due to condemn the “destruction” of the library service in the county as “a disaster” after tabling an oral question in the Lords.

Libraries are amongst a host of services being slashed to meet economies forced on County Hall by the Government.

Councillors were being asked to agree the authority’s latest austerity budget which will drastically cut spending on things like libraries and rural bus services.

Lord Greaves, who was a member of the county council for 25 years and lives in East Lancashire, tabled a question which reads: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the Local Government Finance Settlement on the provision of libraries.”

The deputy leader of Pendle Council, will tell the Lords today that the proposed LCC budget for 2016-17 means that 40 of the 74 libraries in the County would have to close.

He will ask them whether an alliance of the Conservative Government and the Labour-run County Council want to be seen between them as taking a swath of destruction through a well-loved and well-used service.

Tony Greaves said: “The government has to run the economy in a proper manner, but the attack on local services is now going much too far.”