Public Meeting Vows to Save Churchtown Library

Nearly a hundred people braved a frozen November night to protest against plans to close Churchtown Library. The public meeting, held at St Cuthbert's Church Hall in Churchtown last Thursday, heard passionate pleas from many residents to save the library.

Local councillors united to Save Churchtown Library
Meeting organiser, Cllr Nigel Ashton, explained how Sefton Council were consulting on a plan to close seven libraries, including Churchtown. Cllr Ashton told the meeting how he and fellow councillors had been fighting the library closure plan, through the Council and in the community.

Nigel Ashton said " We have been organising a petition through local shops and schools as well as online, and there are over 2,000 signatures already in support of keeping our library open. Children from local schools have organised their own demonstrations and banners in support of Churchtown Library, without any prompting. A Facebook page called Save Churchtown Library has also been set up by a local resident, which now has over 1,200 members."

Cllr Ashton explained how there was a viable alternative to the closure plan, called Option C, which would keep the entire branch library network in the Borough intact, including Churchtown. He urged everyone present to take part in the Council's consultation, so that the cabinet were left in no doubt about the strength of feeling.

Many of the people at the meeting spoke of the benefit of the library to the community. The loss of the library would be severely felt by many groups, including people with disabilities, children, elderly people, those who needed the Internet to access benefits or seek jobs, and many others. The long term effect on health and wellbeing could easily outweigh the cash saving of closing the library. 

The meeting also heard from the other councillors present, who were united in fighting to save the library, David Rimmer, John Dodd, Marianne Welsh, Pat Keith and Sue McGuire.

Nigel Ashton then proposed that the meeting should set up Friends of Churchtown Library as a group to take the library campaign forward in the short term and to provide support and help to Churchtown Library in the long term. This was unanimously agreed.

Take part in Sefton Council's library consultation here