Fines and fees could rise at Lancashire's libraries

An increase in fees and charges at libraries, museums and archives in Fylde and Wyre could be on the cards.

Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 4:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 4:00 pm
County Coun Peter Buckley

Members of Lancashire County Council’s cabinet will be told at a meeting on Thursday that library reservation fees have not been increased since 2005 and that fines have remained unchanged since 2012.

Charges for the archives service were last reviewed in 2016, and those for the museums service in 2013 and increases will be considered at the meeting.

County Coun Peter Buckley (pictured), cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “We haven’t increased our charges for some time, and given the county council’s current financial position this situation can’t continue.

“Although increasing charges is never popular, it is something that we need to consider to reduce the pressure on the council’s finances and help to meet our priority of continuing to protect services for our most vulnerable people.”

The proposals come as the County Council’s now-ruling Conservatives are in the process of re-opening libraries across the county closed in 2016 by the previous Labour regime.

Christine Marshall, chairman of the Friends of Lytham Library, who are still waiting to hear when and where the town’s library will be reopened, said: “It’s a shame if the Council feel they must raise certain charges but let’s hope they don’t raise them too much so people are deterred from borrowing books.”

Louise McLaren, chairman of the Friends of Ansdell Library, added: “We must be careful not to alienate those who are most dependent upon the library service.”