Anger as removal van arrives at closed down library - on World Book Day
As children across the county were celebrating the day dedicated to literature, removal vans arrived at Lostock Hall library.
The library and children’s centre had been a victim of Lancashire County Council budget cuts.
County Councillor Michael Green said: “I was appalled at the insensitivity of the Labour administration to empty Lostock Hall Library when children from Farington and Lostock Hall should have been learning about the love of reading.
“Instead of seeing children’s faces full of joy as they learn new things by reading, I witnessed the removal men emptying the library of books and computers.
“It broke my heart to see empty shelves and children’s furniture which sadly has no further use at Lostock Hall Library, following its closure.
“It strengthened my determination to get the library re-opened, for the benefit of the residents of Farington and Lostock Hall.”
Councillor Jim Marsh, the Conservative candidate for Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge in the May elections, added: “I understand that when Lancashire County Council closed Bamber Bridge Library, many of the books were removed.
“I am totally appalled by anyone who finds that acceptable. I look forward to residents from my community having their local libraries once again.”
Councillor Paul Wharton said: “This is a sad day for our residents after the savage Labour cuts have slashed the libraries budget closing over thirty in our communities. I’m really pleased the Conservatives have pledged to reopen the libraries that have been closed were the buildings haven’t already been sold off by the Labour led authority should they take control in May’s election.
“It was really quite eerie looking at the children’s section backdropped by the empty shelves which once held the children’s books.”
The Watkin Lane library – which opened more than 50 years ago – was closed last November. The community 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.
The nearest libraries to Lostock Hall are Kingsfold, Penwortham, Leyland and Preston’s Harris library. The nearest children’s centres are Stoneygate, Preston and Wade Hall and Leyland.
County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “Books from library buildings which have closed go back into general circulation, which means they are distributed to our remaining network of libraries or to the newly established independent community libraries.
“Rumours to the contrary are completely untrue.”