The final chapter of Whalley Library. . .

The community tries to save Whalley Library

The community tries to save Whalley Library

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Whalley Library is set to close at noon on Saturday despite local residents campaigning to save it.

Officials at Lancashire County Council say the move is part of its plans to reduce the number of buildings it operates as it strives to save £220m.

The closure of Whalley Library along with Spring Wood Children’s Centre has been slammed by Ribble Valley councillor Ged Mirfin, who campaigned for months to keep the facility open.

He said: “This is an absolute tragedy for the whole community.

“I just wish officers at Lancashire County Council could understand the visceral pain they have wrought via this entirely precipitate decision.

“By doing so they have placed themselves in an extremely invidious position because they are going to have to not only justify, but also spend time re-opening libraries across the county they have closed when the Conservatives are re-elected to power at County Hall in May.

“The Conservative County Council Election Campaign starts as soon as they are closed. It is comforting that the maximum period they will stay closed is six months as I have no doubt whatsoever that the Conservatives will be returned to power on the strength of this issue alone.

“Of course, this is no comfort for residents deprived of library services or library staff who are being made redundant in the run-up to Christmas. I really feel for them at this very uncertain time.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by Neil Martin, the President of Whalley Lions, who feels the closure will have a negative impact on the community. He said: “This raises all sorts of questions about the future status of the building itself.

“No announcement has been made about what will happen to it. Will it be knocked down? Will it be mothballed prior to a community group or charity taking it over.

“If so, no one has told us. There also remains the question of Whalley Library’s status as a storage depot for the mobile library service. “Little thought appears to have been given to the closure on the continued operation of the mobile service. I believe it can only have a negative result further damaging the impact on the community.”

The nearest libraries to Whalley are in Great Harwood and Clitheroe.