Warrington-Worldwide.co.uk incorporates the Village Life, Culcheth Life, Frodsham Life & Lymm Life magazines.

No libraries to close in Warrington

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THERE look set to be no library closures in Warrington following the public consultation over their future – in fact the service looks set to expand, particularly in deprived areas of the town.

warrington-worldwide understands that ALL libraries will remain open in some form, including the main central library which will also become a heritage hub. Plans to relocate the library to Golden Square have been dropped.

While the findings of the draft consultation document have still got to be rubber stabbed and presented to the borough council’s Executive Board next month (February), all existing areas served by a library will continue to have a library, while locker schemes will be introduced in the Westy, Fairfield and Howley areas, where there is currently no library provision, while Great Sankey and Bewsey and Dallam will gain library services via new community hubs.

If the Executive Board approve the proposals which follow a public consultation by library operators LiveWire, Warrington will see an increase from 11-13 physical library sites, plus two with lockers. While some savings will be achieved it is not expected to be the full £300,000 being sought by the council.

Lymm would retain its existing library and staff, with extended opening hours in partnership with a social enterprise, opening seven days a week instead of the current five-and-a-half days.

Culcheth would remain open while ongoing discussions with a working party which has been set up to investigate all options continue

At Stockton Heath discussions would continue with the parish council and potential partner organisations, likewise at Padgate, including forming a partnership with the neighbouring University Academy.

The current library would be maintained at Penketh while ongoing discussions take place over the redevelopment of the site.

At Westbrook discussions would continue with a developer on the possibility of moving into a new unit, while at Burtonwood, talks would continue with a partner.

At Birchwood the current library would move into the neighbouring leisure centre.

There would be no changes at Orford and Woolston, which have now become successful community hubs.

A joint statement on behalf of LiveWire and the council, stated: “This report is currently in draft form and awaiting final comments and feedback from both the LiveWire board and senior council officials.

“As the report has not yet been finalised, it would be inappropriate to comment on its findings or recommendations. Further information on the report will be made publicly available in the near future.”

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

16 Comments

  1. Great news, now perhaps the thousands of deeply concerned residents of the town who signed the online petition to keep open the libraries (when there were rumours some may shut) , can begin to actually use this facility?

    • Instead of making repeated scathing remarks about concerned members of the public might it not be more constructive if you took your own advice and went to a library – and buried your head in a book?

      • I saw the concern when I covered the protest at the town hall, all 12 who bothered to turn out seemed very concerned. Mind you it was a little chilly that night, is that what kept you from actually supporting the cause in person at all he Town Hall?

        • No Paul, it was not the weather that kept me from going to the town hall it was past experience. I have been to numerous protests and council meetings re a variety of issues and had to listen to hours of twaddle, drivel, claptrap and blatant lies from Councillors & officers alike and I really have not the inclination to subject myself to any more.

          • I admire your resolve, dedication and commitment to your cause. Perhaps you could use some of it to try to encourage your petitions signatories to actually use the library they are so keen to save. Maybe there should be a use it or lose it ultimatum?

        • Bit of a chip on your shoulder Paul?
          Or just trying to stir it up?
          Do you have an ulterior motive or are you, sadly, related to a member of the progressive Live Wite board? Or should that be bored? Must check that at my local library when I make my weekly visit eh?

          • If I don’t happen to agree with you on the library issue that must mean I am a stirrer or have shrouded reasons for disagreeing with you? I am however concerned at the huge fall in the use of our libraries but have no chip, no ulterior motive and am not to the best of my knowledge related to anyone at LiveWire ( or Live Wite) so you can stop your pathetic insinuations right there Ron.. . I use them myself regularly and have seen first hand the drop off in usage over the past few years. Nothing would make me happier than to see them full and vibrant again. How is it that there can be thousands of “concerned” residents prepared to sign an online petition yet only a dozen with the gumption to turn out for the protest and have their voices heard at the Town hall? I counted a dozen and half of them were Kevin Bennett and TUSC , who left after their photo was taken yet before the questions were raised at council. If the libraries are not being used then it would make sense to cut the amount of buildings that are having to be staffed and paid for, as sad as that is. Do not forget we are experiencing unprecedented cuts to services and funding by this Government and towns and cities all over the country are having to make some harsh decisions.

  2. It is wonderful news. It would be even better to know whether the proposal to put a glass “carbuncle” on the side or anywhere near the main library is to be scrapped?

  3. As it says the main Library will become a “heritage hub” it would seem that they have not given up yet on their original plan of destruction. They are living in cuckoo land if they think we will just sit back and let that beautiful building be destroyed.
    The above article is merely giving a positive spin on what is really what WBC & Livewire wanted all along – that the Libraries will end up being funded largely by others.
    We are told that libraries will stay open with the input of parish councils, ‘potential partner organisations” and ‘social enterprise’. It’s easy to guess what type of ‘input’ Parish Councils will be expected to give, but what type of ‘organisations’ & ‘enterprises’ the expected partners may be isn’t revealed and what will be their function? to convert the libraries into some form of cash cows perhaps?
    I don’t really see the point in making ‘announcements’ when there are not really any clear facts to announce.

    • SHA this is not an official announcement – that wont be coming until next month – this is what I have found out from my own sources – and is all subject to being approved by our elected councillors – the ones who agreed to the cuts in the first place in their own budget!

      • I believe your headline is misleading then as it indicates a final decision has been made and the libraries will remain open unless you read the full article!

        • The whole idea of a headline is to make people read a story – there is nothing inaccurate about the headline. It is impossible to get all the facts in a headline and I stand by it as the article is completely factual. When have you ever a read a headline that says No libraries to close in Warrington unless councillors decide to vote against it?

  4. Hmmm. That headline suggests that “No libraries will close in Warrington” when in fact, no decision has been made at all, the draft plans as they exist make no firm commitment to several libraries and some may be asset-transferred (which means, in essence, that it does not remain as a professional library with in a serviced network). I don’t think the headline is fair or appropriate. A lot of people have spent a great deal of time trying to save the libraries. We’d love to celebrate, but let’s do so if and when there is something to celebrate.

    • Neil – the draft report suggests that no libraries are going to close – in fact there will hopefully be increased provision. Unless turkeys are suddely going to start voting for Christmas this is great news especially for those who have been campaigning so hard. Shame it had to become a political football within the Labour party. Let’s hope common sense prevails and you and your fellow campaigners can be celebrating soon. The portfolio holder himself has been commenting all over social media that no libraries will close so I don’t think there is actually anything wrong with my headline or report.

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