One library is saved but other buildings need bids

TIME could be running out for more than 60 'white elephant' redundant county council buildings which could soon be put up for sale to the highest bidder.

Thursday, 6th October 2016, 4:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:52 pm
Campaigners call for Adlington Library to be kept open, as Lancashire County Council looks to close 40 of its 74 libraries.

But while a question mark now hangs over the future of properties such as Fulwood and Bamber Bridge libraries, there was joy in the community of Adlington with the news that Chorley Borough Council is to take over the running of Adlington Library. This is now guaranteed to stay open and be staffed until March 2018.

The Chorley transfer news was announced by the County Council’s Deputy Leader County Coun David Borrow, who said it was also hoped agreement could be reached on keeping Coppull and Eccleston libraries open.

Meanwhile he said there was growing interest in the council’s recently announced scheme to help local groups create community libraries, which did not have to be located in former library premises.

Lancashire County Council's deputy leader, County Coun David Borrow

His comments came as the council’s cabinet received a progress report on the disposal of some 100 buildings which the council is closing to save money.

Many of the properties are eligible for a community asset transfer to local community groups which must back their bid to take over buldings with a strong business case.

A report to cabinet revealed no community groups have yet submitted a formal case for taking over more than 60 of the buildings. The cabinet gave the go-ahead for negotiations to proceed on community asset transfers on some 37 properties.

Coun Borrow said there was still limited time to submit applications for community asset transfers and new expressions of interest were now coming in.

Coun David O'Toole
Lancashire County Council's deputy leader, County Coun David Borrow
Coun David O'Toole