Wednesday, 11 November 2009

DECISION DAY ON POTENTIAL LIBRARY RELOCATION TO SOUTHPORT MARKET

DECISION DAY ON POTENTIAL LIBRARY RELOCATION TO SOUTHPORT MARKET

The largest group of councillors in Southport – the Liberal Democrats, with two thirds of the council seats – have voiced their unanimous support for the idea of temporarily relocating the town’s library into the currently empty space at the rear of Southport Market Hall during the 3 years of work on the Arts Centre and Library buildings.

Sefton Council’s ruling Cabinet is due to make key decisions about the £15 million Southport Cultural Centre project at this Thursday’s Cabinet meeting (12th November), and one of the most controversial is whether an alternative town centre library should be provided while the major project is carried out.

The 10-strong Cabinet has 4 Liberal Democrats, 3 Labour and 3 Conservative members, so the votes of at least two of the parties will be needed for the relocation plan to be carried.

Councillor Maureen Fearn, Chair of the Southport Lib Dem councillors said: “Liberal Democrat councillors in Southport are firmly of the view that, for the three years during which work is being done to the existing buildings, Southport cannot do without a town centre library.”

“We have looked at every potential site in the town centre and it is clear to us that the only seriously viable option is to use vacant space within Southport’s Market Hall,” continued Councillor Fearn.

“There was a report in the Southport Visiter of Friday 30 October which reported on the support for this proposal. This confirmed our view that using the rear of the Market would be good news for library-users and good news for existing market traders. With the prospect of an extra 150,000 visits a year to ‘Southport’s library within a market’ it is little wonder that market traders have welcomed the idea wholeheartedly – as the Visiter reported.”

“Liberal Democrat councillors in Southport are unanimous in asking the Cabinet to back the option of using space in the Market Hall as the town’s temporary library.”

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