MP takes fight over libraries to culture chief

Mark Menzies MP has sent a petition of 6,725 signatures to Government, protesting against the closure of libraries in Fylde.

Saturday, 30th July 2016, 10:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:00 pm
Mark Menzies MP

The document was signed by people from across the Lytham, Ansdell and Freckleton areas and has already been issued to Lancashire County Council as part of the consultation process into the authority’s proposals.

But Mr Menzies said it was important Government knows the strength of feeling in Fylde and has now sent the document to the Culture Secretary, the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP.

He said: “I believe libraries are the cornerstone for our communities and have been among the county council’s most vocal critics on this issue.

“I felt it was important to let the Secretary of State know how local people feel about these plans so I have now sent the whole bundle on to her.

“I have also recently contacted the Local Government Secretary to ask him to examine Lancashire County Council’s methodology for deciding where to cut services as it speaks volumes that Fylde’s libraries are potentially being hit harder than anywhere else while eight out of nine of Preston’s libraries are earmarked to remain open.

“Apparently the reason for this is because the council has chosen to use deprivation statistics to determine where to cut services which I believe unfairly penalises the hard-working, tax-paying residents of Fylde. Should they have focused on a different indices, such as the population’s age, then I believe the outcome would have been vastly different.

“While these petitions covered Lytham, Ansdell and Freckleton we should not forgot that Kirkham Library is also earmarked for closure, with only a heavily scaled-down offering in a nearby residential home on the table in a poor attempt to appease local people.”