DISMAY OVER THREAT TO SOUTHPORT’S BRANCH LIBRARIES – KEY DECISION THIS THURSDAY July 16th, 2013 admin Latest News Shares Comments DISMAY OVER THREAT TO SOUTHPORT’S BRANCH LIBRARIES – KEY DECISION THIS THURSDAY A crucial decision on the future of Southport’s three threatened branch libraries is due to be taken by Sefton Council’s ruling cabinet this Thursday. Local library campaigners have reacted angrily to the recommendation that Ainsdale and Churchtown libraries should be shut, and that consideration should be given to handing over the Birkdale Library building to a local charity. That could mean just 25% of the current space being used as a continuing community library in Birkdale. Two months ago, library campaigners in the Ainsdale, Birkdale and Churchtown Library Group (ABCLG) lodged a detailed submission proposing a saving of £140,000 a year through the use of volunteers across the Southport libraries. But this bid is recommended for rejection. “We are appalled and dismayed that officers are recommending that our Alternative Plan to save Southport’s three branch libraries should be rejected,” said Melanie Horridge, Chair of ABCLG. “The proposals have been judged against criteria which are simply inappropriate for our type of proposal.” “Our solution keeps all three threatened Southport branch libraries open. At the same time it would £140,000 a year towards the £400,000 a year saving needed across all Sefton libraries.” “We are concerned that thousands of Southport residents, including many schoolchildren, would be left with no Library within a reasonable distance. Other parts of Sefton are not being condemned to that fate. Birkdale Councillor Simon Shaw voiced his concern about the proposal from Sefton CVS to take over the Birkdale library building rent-free: “On the one hand Council officers have rejected our proposal outright, and then they recommend the Sefton CVS bid to use half of the Birkdale Library building as office space, with a further quarter as a café and internet café. This leaves just the remaining quarter as a much reduced volunteer-run library.” “We have no problem in principle with Sefton CVS using part of the library building as we feel that many of their services would be compatible running alongside a library service. It is just that leaving barely 25% of the current space as a continuing community library is simply too little. We are willing to explore a compromise with a larger area set aside for library purposes. We would then be happy to go forward together.” Thursday’s Report to Cabinet is at: http://modgov.sefton.gov.uk/moderngov/documents/s47538/Library%20Review%20-%20Assessment%20of%20Alternative%20Community%20Proposals.pdf In addition, details of the bids from ABCLG, BLAG (Birkdale Library Action Group) and Sefton CVS are at: http://modgov.sefton.gov.uk/moderngov/ecCatDisplay.aspx?sch=doc&cat=13456&path=13193 Submit News Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07930717137 Email [email protected] Twitter www.twitter.com/onthespot_news Related Comments comments!