Library Campaigners from Southport are hoping that a demonstration and presentation of petitions tomorrow (Thursday 14th Feb) will help prevent a 'St Valentine's Day Massacre' of Southport's branch library service.
The last chance to lobby the Sefton Council Cabinet concerning their plans to close Southport's three branch Libraries (Churchtown, Ainsdale and Birkdale) takes place tomorrow morning when the Council's ruling Cabinet meet at Southport Town Hall to decide what to present to the Council in their budget plans. The Cabinet meeting itself takes place in the Birkdale Room at the Town Hall and is open to the public to listen to the members' deliberations. Final decisions will be taken at a meeting of the full council in Bootle on 28th February but this is the last chance for Southport people to have their say to decision-makers in our own town.
On the Cabinet's agenda are five separate presentations by petitioners seeking to retain the branch libraries within Sefton MBC. At present, the Cabinet is planning to close seven of these libraries in order to make a saving of £400,000 in the Council's spending plans for next year.
The petitioners' spokespeople who will each b making five minute presentations and answering questions include Melanie Horridge of the Friends of Ainsdale Library and Mary McQueen of the Birkdale Library Action Group. Southport Councillor Tony Dawson is presenting the case on behalf of the 'Southport Says' internet petition to save all three of Southport's branch libraries.
The idea for the demonstration comes from Cambridge Ward Councillor Pat Keith of the Churchtown Library campaign (pictured). Councillor Keith said:
"Twelve and a half thousand people from Southport have petitioned the Council chiefs to tell then how much we value our branch libraries. Many have also presented detailed explanations of why each of Southport's three libraries should be retained. This is a chance for all three campaigns to come together, united, to show our support for those who are presenting the case on all our behalf."