Step forward in bid to save town library

Louise Martin of the Friends of Lytham Institute and Library present their petition for the restoration of servuces to Lytham Library to Lancashire County Council cabinet membetr Peter Buckley, with supporters and other county councillors looking on
Louise Martin of the Friends of Lytham Institute and Library present their petition for the restoration of servuces to Lytham Library to Lancashire County Council cabinet membetr Peter Buckley, with supporters and other county councillors looking on

Campaigners aiming to see Lytham’s library back in its traditional home have vowed to battle on after hopes of the service being restored to town took a key step forward.

County Coun Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services at County Hall, has pledged that Lytham will have a library again – it is just a case of in which location.

His announcement came after the Friends of Lytham Institute and Library presented a petition containing more than 3,000 signatures to county councillors ahead of the latest cabinet meeting.

Councillors agreed to launch an appraisal of options for the future of the library services in the town, including venue options.

The Assembly Rooms as well as LCC’s long-time social services base at Hastings Place are in the frame as possibilities, along with the Institute on Clifton Street, which was the library’s home for more than 130 years up to September last year.

The library was among a number across the county which were shut as part of a wave of economy cuts by the previous Labour regime at County Hall and the Conservatives pledged to reopen when the closed when they came back to power at County Hall last May.

No timescale for the appraisal has been given but it is understood all possibilities are being looked at, and the Friends are preparing a business plan to be ready if a community library is found to be the way forward.

County Coun Buckley said: “We will be reopening a library in Lytham - that is our pledge.

“Cabinet has so far made decisions to reopen 13 libraries, and agreed to transfer the ownership of a further six libraries to local organisations which will operate them as independent community libraries.

“The library and registration service was previously delivered from Lytham Institute, but the building is being assessed for its suitability for future service requirements and a range of options for future service delivery will be considered, which could include the Assembly Rooms, the Institute or existing LCC offices on Hastings Place.

“The appraisal is a welcome step forward.”