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.”