Library closures in Liverpool – Let’s hope those wanting to save them are given the chance to do so

Remember Sefton Council going through this process and how badly I said it treated volunteers wishing to take over College Road Library (Crosby) and Aintree Library?


The Liverpool Echo has the story (see link above) of how folks are trying to save Liverpool’s threatened libraries.

Sadly this placard could also read 'NO' to volunteers taking over Aintree Library!

Sadly this placard could also read ‘NO’ to volunteers taking over Aintree Library!

I hope Liverpool’s elected Mayor Joe Anderson has more confidence in volunteers wanting to take over libraries than Sefton Labour did when they dismissed the volunteer bids in an appalling way.

Can volunteers save Whiston Library (Knowsley Borough) when in Sefton its Labour rullers told volunteers to sling their hook?

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above.

This sadly takes me back only a few months to the farcical situation that two volunteer groups faced in Sefton when they tried to take over Aintree and College Road (Crosby) Libraries. The bottom line was that Labour-run Sefton was simply not going to let them.

I really do hope that Labour-run Knowsley is prepared to give their volunteers the chance that Labour-run Sefton was not prepared to do. I would hate to think of more volunteers being given the run-around.

Lib Dems defend our Green Belt, fight for our libraries and oppose Labour’s £46 Green Bin Tax

For anyone who cares about our environment, the amount of local taxation we pay and closure of libraries supporting the Labour Party would be simply out of the question this year in Sefton.

Since Bootle Labour grabbed control of the Council they have:-

* Voted to build on the Green Belt and high grade agricultural land
* Tried to bring in an additional £46 Green Bin Tax on every household in the Borough
* Closed 7 local libraries and stopped volunteers from running two of them.

We Lib Dems have fought Labour all the way over all these policies and so have two prominent local independent candidates – Peter Gill in Molyneux Ward (Aintree Village, Melling and southern Maghull) and Maria Bennett in Ravenmeols Ward (Formby). We have been happy to work with these two community activists.

What have the Tories done? Does anyone know? In the Sefton Central Constituency wards the options, in my view, are very clear :-

* back the Lib Dems to fight for our Green Belt
* support the Lib Dems to say ‘NO’ to Labour’s £46 Green Bin Tax and
* and stand with the Lib Dems to send Labour a very clear message that we will not put up with library volunteers being treated so disgracefully

However, in Molyneux and Ravenmeols wards, where the Lib Dems have stood aside, I suggest you Support the independent candidates (Peter Gill – Molyneux and Maria Bennett – Ravenmeols) because they are fighting the same local battles that we Lib Dems are fighting.

Volunteers running libraries – If they can do it in Lincolnshire why not in Sefton?

Lincolnshire County Council is pressing ahead with plans to put volunteers in charge of libraries. The council said community groups have come forward to take over 30 libraries.

This story came via the BBC.

I am in danger of another rant here because for the life of me I still can’t understand why Labour-run Sefton stopped volunteers from running two of the libraries that Labour decided to shut. It made no sense when they made the decision and frankly looks even more ludicrous with the benefit of having thought about it since.

People like Peter Gill and his fellow campaigners for Aintree Library and indeed their counterparts for College Road Library deserve medals for their efforts whilst stubborn municipal socialists should continue to hang their heads in shame!

Why are Sefton’s Labour councillors not campaigning for the communities that elected them?

In the south of the Sefton Borough Aintree, College Road, Litherland & Orrell Libraries have all been shut down by Labour-run Sefton Council as part of its savings drive. All these closures have been in wards with at least one Labour member yet Labour councillors have, as far as I know, been at best distant from the community campaign groups trying to find a sustainable way forward for the libraries. 3 more libraries have also been closed by Labour in Southport wards where there are no Labour councillors.

We all knew the Council needed to save money but to close libraries was Labour’s choice. However, when community bids came in to run Aintree and College Road Libraries, using volunteer help, what on earth made Labour councillors rejected those bids?

Lib Dems fighting for Aintree Library

Lib Dem campaigners fighting for the Libraries that Labour shut. Labour even stopped volunteers from reopening two libraries!

Then there’s the Green Belt. In Maghull, Lydiate, Formby, Thornton & Southport (which, as noted above, does not have any socialist councillors) community campaigns are trying to stop the Green Belt and high grade agricultural land from being concreted over. Sadly, it is Labour-run Sefton Council that is proposing to allow the building.

A petition being presented to Cllr. Dave Russell Chairman of Lydiate Parish Council next to a threatened Green Belt development site.

A petition being presented to Cllr. Dave Russell Chairman of Lydiate Parish Council next to a threatened Green Belt development site.

And what about the Green Bin tax that Labour wanted to impose on Sefton residents. That needed a huge community reaction (and the loss of two Labour council seats in Maghull) to make Labour back off but they have only deferred the imposition of this local tax and we await them trying again to impose it.

A green bin mountain, Cllr. Bruce Hubbard, and a huge pile of petitions opposing Labour's Green Bill tax for Sefton.

A green bin mountain, Cllr. Bruce Hubbard, and a huge pile of petitions opposing Labour’s Green Bin tax for Sefton.

Libraries, Green Belt and the Green Bin tax are massive community issues yet Labour councillors are not standing with the residents who elected them, indeed they seem firmly stood against residents.