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REVEALED: Three Hyndburn libraries facing chop in cuts announcement - but two saved

Five children's centres are also facing closure under the county council cuts

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Clayton-le-Moors Library, Oswaldtwistle Library and Rishton Library are all facing closure however Accrington and Great Harwood have been reprieved

Nine community buildings across the borough could close their doors within a year as part of swingeing county cost-saving measures.

Three libraries and five children and young people’s centres are among the buildings that face the axe nexti in the 12 months as part of Lancashire County Council cuts.

Clayton-le-Moors Library, Oswaldtwistle Library and Rishton Library are all facing closure, along with Accrington Youth Offending Team, Clayton-le-Moors Young People’s Centre, Great Harwood Young People’s Centre, Huncoat Children’s Centre, Oswaldtwistle Young People’s Centre, and Accrington South Children’s Centre.

The closures, which will now be put to a 12-week consultation, have been slammed by local councillors.

Barnfield councillor Tony Dobson, Hyndburn’s Conservative group leader, said: “We question how much effort has gone into trying to save these public buildings. There seems to be disproportionate closures in certain parts of the borough and there is no rationale that I can find at the moment for that.

“I don’t think these closures are justified. The county council need to make a case to the borough council about why they think they are right.

“These buildings are important, and we need to see the rationale about how they have come to these conclusions.”

Accrington and Great Harwood libraries have been given a reprieve, having been marked for closure in the county council’s budget last November as part of a £262 million savings programme.

Coun Dobson added: “We’re glad that we won the argument about Accrington Library.”

In total 54 of the authority’s buildings in East Lancashire are set to shut their doors within the next 12 months.

County council bosses have said that new ‘neighbourhood centres’ will provide a base for a range of different services in one place, making many buildings redundant.

St Andrews ward councillor and Tory county councillor Peter Britcliffe said that the closures would hit the community hard, especially Oswaldtwistle Library, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

He said: “It’s very bad news and I think before they go down the route of closure we need to examine any other ways of working through community groups to keep these buildings open.

“The library in Oswaldtwistle is well loved and it would be a very sad loss indeed if the local community loses their library.”

However, Coun Britcliffe said he is in talks with a group about the potential of taking on the building from the county council.

He said: “I am encouraging community groups to come forward and see how they could actually run the library - I do know that there is an interested party in the library which gives me some hope that it will continue.

“These buildings are part of the fabric of our area and we need to work together to secure their future.”

County Councillor Jenny Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “I’m acutely aware that people have a very strong connection to their local services, particularly places like libraries which are often seen as a valuable part of the community.

“These proposals are very difficult ones for councillors to have to consider, but our aim is to come up with a solution that still gives everyone in Lancashire good access to good services, even though some will have to be further away than they are now.

“We really need to think about where services are most needed and how we can reduce the costs that come with running so many premises. Our reduced need for buildings also reflects that we’ve already had to significantly reduce the budget for many services.”

Coun Mein added: “The severity of the county council’s financial position cannot be overstated, and the ongoing cuts in central government funding combined with rising demand for our services mean the only way we can maintain the services that people rely on is to deliver them in a different way.”