Report timing no '˜conspiracy'

Lancashire County Council chiefs say there was no conspiracy to reveal details of a closure programme at 8pm on a Friday before a bank holiday.
Lancashire County Councillor David BorrowLancashire County Councillor David Borrow
Lancashire County Councillor David Borrow

The timing led some to accuse County Hall of foul play.

But bosses say late revisions to the documents caused the late announcement.

Council chiefs were accused of picking ‘a good day to bury bad news’ following the publication of documents detailing plans to shut more than 100 sites including seven Fylde coast libraries and 14 children’s centres.

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Feedback from 7,700 residents was taken into account in preparing the 1,469 page report. And officials insist the scale of the document led to the timing of the report, which is part of a £200m cost-cutting plan.

A spokesman said: “To be published in time for the meeting of the scrutiny committee the report should have been made available on Monday. Due to the bank holiday that was not possible.

“Therefore the decision was taken to publish it on Friday. Councillors were given the document at noon with the intention that it would be made available to the public at 2pm.

“However due to the number of revisions to the document required the timing of the publication slipped back.”

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County Coun David Borrow, deputy leader and portfolio holder for finance insists the plans are “a solution that still gives everyone in Lancashire good access to good services.”

Lancashire County Council’s cabinet will discuss the proposals on Thursday.