Scrutiny called in over book rumours

The now-closed library in Station Road, Bamber Bridge, was refurbished in 2011
The now-closed library in Station Road, Bamber Bridge, was refurbished in 2011
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Calls have been made for a formal investigation into what has happened to books from Lancashire’s closed libraries.

Despite the County Council insisting books have been put back into the general library system, Coun Barrie Yates has asked the scrutiny committee to look into the matter, after hearing rumours books from Bamber Bridge Library have been destroyed.

His worry has been heightened after a Labour County Councillor advocated the cheapest way of dealing with stock was to “get rid”.

Labour Councillor Ron Shewan said books would be destroyed by the atmosphere if they were left on shelves in unheated buildings.

He added: “So what you’ve got to do with them is you’ve got to take them off the shelves, put them into containers which protect them and store them somewhere, which is a massive cost. So there’s costs both ways. So the cheapest way of doing it is to get rid.”

Coun Yates replied: “That answer I didn’t expect it, but it’s hilarious, because books are one of the most important things you can have in your life. It’s education, it’s learning and everything and we have schools that are crying out for books, there’s all these organisations that if the books have been destroyed, we could have passed them on to.

“We don’t burn books, we don’t shred them, we don’t leave them to rot.”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council has on more than one occasion said that books from closed libraries go into the general library system and are not destroyed.