Council’s vision to keep valued town facilities open

Photo Neil Cross
Penwortham library
Photo Neil Cross Penwortham library
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Penwortham Town Council is looking to step in and keep two closure-threatened facilities open.

As part of Lancashire County Council cuts, Penwortham Library in Liverpool Road and Penwortham Youth and Community Centre in Priory Lane are set to close.

But Steve Caswell, Penwortham Town Manager, said there was some hope of them remaining open for residents.

He said: “The Town Council has expressed an interest in both buildings.

“In terms of the Community Centre, we’d be looking at keeping that running as it is, but with the library it would just be the building. We’d be hoping to put it to some community use.

“They’re valuable assets to the town and we’re keen to see them remain as such.”

The Town Council is interested in an asset transfer, meaning it would not pay to take over the two sites.

But Mr Caswell admits there would be some financial impact if the plans got the go-ahead.

He said: “There would be some cost in running them both and we would have to look at the precept.

“But the role of a Town or Parish Council is to provide something over and above what is provided by the County Council, so we’ve got to see if it’s viable.”

Lancashire County Council needs to save £200m by 2020/21 as a result of ongoing Government cuts to its budget and rising demand for its services.

The proposals for buildings respond to savings agreed by full council in February 2016, with fewer buildings being needed to deliver reduced services.

The consultation is due to end on Sunday, August 14. The County Council will take a final decision later in the year.