POLL: Do you agree with plans for Morecambe Library?

We want to find out what you think of plans to turn Morecambe Library into a self-service '˜satellite library'.

Thursday, 26th May 2016, 2:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2016, 4:58 pm
A Chinese drumming workshop held in Morecambe Library in 2013 is one example of the many events that take place at the library.

As part of a Lancashire County Council blueprint to save £200m by 2021, Morecambe Library could become unstaffed.

Instead people would use self-service counters to collect reserved books and return them.

Other services, such as birth and death registration, and services currently offered by children’s centres in Morecambe, could move into the library building near the Arndale Centre.

Morecambe Library.

A 12-week public consultation is under way on the Labour-run Lancashire County Council plans to close other libraries around the county, cutting the number from 73 to 44.

But at a meeting at Morecambe Town Hall on Thursday, town councillors were united as they damned plans to make Morecambe Library a ‘satellite’ service.

Labour councillor David Whitaker said: “It is a hub of the community in central Morecambe. I think (the proposals) have been very ill thought out.”

His colleague Coun Claire Cozler said: “To the library staff, it’s like a kick in the teeth. The only place you can go to get internet access if you don’t have it at home, is the library.”

Morecambe Library.

Meanwhile Morecambe Bay Independent Linda Page said: “It’s a particular concern for the older people and youth groups who meet there. I think we’ve been given a bum deal.”

Other councillors spoke out against plans to shut Poulton Children’s Centre on Clark Street.Labour’s Coun Brendan Hughes said: “The biggest loss will be Poulton Children’s Centre. It looks to me like this new service (in the library) will be a children’s centre where you can borrow a few books and register births. I don’t think that’s right.”

His colleague Coun Terrie Metcalfe said: “The children’s centre in Poulton has a beautiful area for kids to burn off their excess energy. Where are they going to go if we move them into the library?

“There isn’t the space. That centre has to stay as well as the library.”

After a debate, Morecambe town councillors voted to invite a county council representative to a future meeting so they could ask questions.

County Councillor Jenny Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “The severity of the county council’s financial position cannot be overstated, and the ongoing cuts in central government funding combined with rising demand for our services mean the only way we can maintain the services that people rely on is to deliver them in a different way.”

You can have your say on the library issue either by completing feedback forms at Morecambe Library or online HERE . The consultation is due to end on Sunday, August 14.