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Members of the recently formed Ainsdale, Birkdale and Churchtown Library Group (ABCLG) will be joining in the celebrations outside the newly re-opened Southport Library this Saturday from 11.00am.

They will also be looking to recruit more volunteers as part of their Alternative Plan to keep the three threatened branch libraries in Southport open.

At the budget council meeting held a month ago the controlling Labour Party voted to approve ‘Option B’ which proposes to save £400,000 a year through closing 7 of the Borough’s 13 libraries. However the leader of Sefton Council, Cllr Peter Dowd, made it clear that he was always willing to consider any sustainable and feasible options for the future operation of the libraries.

Melanie Horridge, Chair of ABCLG, explained: “We are making progress with our Alternative Plan which involves using volunteers to keep open the three libraries currently at risk.  So far there has been a fantastic response from local residents.  We believe we have a sustainable and feasible alternative to the closure of our branch libraries.”

Birkdale Councillor Simon Shaw, who has been involved in developing the alternative proposal, added: “We reckon we can save the Council over £150,000 in Southport alone by using one or two volunteers at each branch library during opening hours. Ainsdale, Birkdale and Churchtown libraries would still have at least one professional librarian on duty at all times.”

“We already have over fifty prospective volunteers signed up, but we are looking for even more.”

Members of the Ainsdale, Birkdale & Churchtown Library Group will be outside the Southport Library entrance from 11.00am to 1.00pm this Saturday.  Further information on how to volunteer is available at http://abclibrariessouthport.co.uk

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