Warrington's loss-making library provider's board should go, says MP

Orford Jubilee Park, Warrington Image copyright David Dixon/Geograph
Image caption The £30m Orford Jubilee Park leisure complex was opened in 2012

Bosses at the loss-making company that runs Warrington's libraries and leisure centres should resign, an MP has said.

Livewire Warrington, which in 2012 took over the borough's libraries, leisure services and lifestyle services, was £454,880 in the red by March 2016, twice the deficit of 12 months earlier.

Warrington North MP Helen Jones said the board should "take responsibility".

A spokesman for the firm blamed a rise in costs but insisted a "robust deficit recovery plan" had been put in place.

Livewire's most recent accounts show its deficit for the year to the end of March 2016 had increased by £235,000.

The accounts warned: "These factors on their own would clearly affect the company's ability to continue trading."

Ms Jones, who has previously questioned proposals by Livewire Warrington to close libraries, said: "The state of the accounts merely confirms my belief that the current board should take responsibility for the state of this company and resign."

The company blamed the increased losses on "costs linked to the organisation's pension fund and an increase in costs for utilities and insurance".

A five-year contract with Warrington Borough Council "enables the company to continue trading", a spokesperson added.

A council spokesman said: "LiveWire is an independent community interest company. They are responsible for their own financial strategy and accounts.

"As a key partner to LiveWire - and with a contractual agreement to deliver certain key leisure and wellbeing services - Warrington Borough Council does, in the appropriate way, support and scrutinise LiveWire's performance and financial positions."

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