Library consultation meetings get under way this week

The start of four public sessions get underway this week looking at a selection of affected libraries in the Liverpool area.

An initial meeting took place earlier in September in Lee Valley Millennium Centre and was attended by around 40 residents. The further meetings are an opportunity for people to ask questions, have their say on the proposals and for the libraries team to talk about why certain locations are at risk.

The Library Service needs to reduce its budget by £2.5 million as part of the city council’s £156 million of savings needed over the next three years, due to costs in Central Government funding. Liverpool has 19 public libraries in total and now eleven are potentially at risk of closure due to a number of reasons, including high running costs and below average use.

A report identified 11 libraries which could be at risk of closure, if no alternative options can be found. The libraries identified were Breck Road, Dovecot, Fazakerley, Kensington, Lee Valley, Old Swan, Sefton Park, Spellow, Walton, Wavertree and West Derby libraries. Under the proposals, 95 percent of people will still live within two miles of a library and the Home Library Service.

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member responsible for libraries, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Due to the scale of the cuts we face there will undoubtedly be some impact on certain venues and we want as many people as possible to be able to have their say on the future of our libraries.

“We understand people will have strong views about libraries, and these meetings give residents the chance to talk about how they feel they will be affected by any service change, and make suggestions for the future of those libraries which are at risk.

“It’s also a forum where we can explain why certain decisions have been made and also importantly meet any individual or group who believe they could take over the running of one of the venues.”

The first session took place on Monday 6 October, but there are still three sessions taking place that you can go along to. These include:

  • Spellow, Walton and Fazakerley libraries – Wednesday 8 October, 6pm to 8pm, Alsop High School, Queen’s Drive, Walton, L4 6SH.
  • Old Swan, Dovecot and West Derby libraries – Monday 13 October, 6pm to 8pm Broadgreen International School, Queen’s Drive, L13 5UQ.
  • Kensington and Breck Road libraries – Wednesday 15 October, 6pm to 8pm Kensington Neighbourhood Health Centre, 157 Edge Lane, Kensington, L7 2PF.

In addition to the identified libraries, there will also be opportunities to discuss all venues at every meeting.

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