Council must review sale of Fulwood library

Fulwood Library, Garstang Road

Fulwood Library, Garstang Road

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Just days after approving the sale of the former Fulwood library the county council’s deputy leader has been stopped in his tracks.

County Coun David Borrow gave the go-ahead for the sale of the Garstang Road property last week.

But now the Tory opposition group on Lancashire County Council has “called in” the decision.

Conservative group leader County Coun Geoff Driver had previously written to Coun Borrow asking him to postpone selling Fulwood library until after the May council elections.

The Tories have pledged to reopen all libraries closed by the current ruling Labour group if they take control of the council in May.

Coun Driver wrote to Coun Borrow saying if the Tories won it “would be more difficult, and more expensive for the County Council, if the current building has been sold” to reopen Fulwood and if Labour won the sale could proceed after the election.

Coun Driver told Coun Borrow: “Deferring your decision would not significantly affect your plans.”

He reminded Coun Borrow that there had been a 4,000 signature petition in favour of retaining the library, writing: “Fulwood library was much used and appreciated by the local community.”

Coun Borrow said: “Coun Driver spoke to me and I listened, but clearly a number of interested parties made bids for the property in good faith on the basis it was on the market. It therefore seemed appropriate to keep faith with them and make the decision I did.”

He added that postponing a sale for some 10 weeks after bids had been made “is not the way the council should be going about its business.”

Coun Driver said he had had no reply from Coun Borrow. The council’s scrutiny committee will now consider the call in.