Last chapter for a 50-year-old Lostock Hall Library

CLOSED: Lostock Hall Library

CLOSED: Lostock Hall Library

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A village library – opened more than 50 years ago – was closed down yesterday.

Lostock Hall Library and children’s centre is a victim of swingeing Lancashire County Council budget cuts.

Farington Parish Council candidate 
Mike Otter

Farington Parish Council candidate Mike Otter

The Watkin Lane library closed for the last time at 12.30pm.

The local community there have been told they can use other libraries nearby which have escaped the huge cuts.

Lancashire County Council warned that it needs to save £200m by 2020.

Community groups were invited to come forward to take control of the closing libraries.

But no suitable offer came forward for Lostock Hall which was then doomed to closure.

Lancashire county councillor Mike Otter, who represents Farington division, said: “I’m totally disappointed it’s come to this.

“I did offer some support to keep it open but circumstances are beyond our control.

“It will be a sad loss to the community because it’s right in the heart of that part of Lostock Hall.”

He added; “The criteria county put together is there’s a library within travelling distance, but if you look on the map, they’re all circling Lostock Hall.

“I suppose there has to be cutbacks.

“The only chink of light is they’re maintaining the mobile library service which would go round various areas, but I’ve no indication whether Lostock Hall will be included.”

The closure is part of plans announced in May to reduce the number of buildings the council owns and rents, and form a network of multi-functional buildings known as neighbourhood centres, which will provide a base for a range of different services in one place.

It will result in changes to where some services are delivered in the future, including libraries, children’s services, children’s centres, young people’s centres, youth offending teams, older people’s daytime support services, adult disability day services and the registration service.

The nearest libraries to Lostock Hall will now be Kingsfold library in Penwortham, Leyland library and Preston’s Harris library.

The nearest children’s centres will be Stoneygate children’s centre, Preston and Wade Hall children’s centre, Leyland.

Leader of Lancashire County Council, county councillor Jenny Mein said when plans were announced: “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.”