As would be expected, the Parish Council has been unanimous in its condemnation of the attempt by Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council to question whether they could close the Library in Duke Street. A year ago we went through this same process and their decision then was to reduce the opening hours, and cut staff costs. It is clear that Sefton have made no progress in understanding the needs of this and any of other parishes in the borough.
The Library offers great facilities for all age groups, it is a meeting place for various volunteer groups, a base for computer studies for those who need one, access to the internet and a life line for older members who regularly use the library to the full, for books, dvd’s and audiobooks.
But without doubt, a most telling concern is for those less able in the community who have no chance of travelling to alternative libraries in Sefton to enjoy their few benefits which remain, should ours be closed.
One councillor has compared this ‘annual event’ as ‘taking layers off an onion, so that next time they will find there is nothing left so they can close it for good!’
The Parish Council has asked that this facility be protected from closure, it is our last civic building, it is busy, and we have asked for all the necessary financial information concerning its use, its condition and fabric to be made available for scrutiny. We know the building is not in good condition following years of insufficient maintenance.
We are determined to take every step we can to protect the Library as far as possible, and seek support from everyone to fight off the closure. We are aware of other organisations, such as the Civic Society, who take a similar line.
We have asked the Formby Area Committee to state their full support, and we ask for residents to let us have their comments too.
Formby Parish Councillor
Chair of the Sefton Area Partnership of Local Councils.
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