Sefton library closure to go to consultation

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Plans to close seven libraries to save Sefton Borough Council about £500,000 are to go to public consultation.

Councillors in Sefton agreed to consult on plans to close seven of the borough's 13 libraries at a cabinet meeting earlier.

The closures if approved would be part of £43m of cuts the Labour-led authority has to make over the next two years, due to government funding cuts.

Councillor Haydn Preece has described the plans as "cultural vandalism".

Libraries which will close under the proposals are Ainsdale, Aintree, Birkdale, Churchtown, College Road, Litherland and Orrell.

Library services would remain in Bootle, Formby, Maghull, Crosby, Netherton and Southport.

Fighting for libraries

Lib Dem councillor Haydn Preece, founder member of Friends of Ainsdale Library, described proposed closures as "cultural vandalism".

He said: "I question the 'under-use' of libraries. Libraries in Sefton are used by a very diverse number of the population.

"We really need to be fighting to keep our libraries open."

The leader of Sefton Council Peter Dowd said he welcomed residents to give their views, particularly suggestions on other ways of saving money.

He said: "If people come to us with alternative options, we will give them very careful consideration. We will look at them.

"The council has to come from the position of 'Here's the option we are going with and what do you think?'."

The consultation will run from 29 October to 14 January 2013.

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