Labour MP Bill Esterson continues to support community campaign

Bill Esterson with Aintree Village Parish Council, Melling Parish Council and local churches

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said he would continue to support the campaign to find a way of saving Aintree Village's library after Sefton Council announced it would allow the local community time to find a way of saving it from Tory-Lib Dem cuts.

Bill has been working closely with Aintree Village Parish Council, Melling Parish Council and local churches to look at what can be done to save the library.

Sefton Council last Thursday announced that it was no longer able to continue to fund Aintree Village library, together with six others across the borough, as it struggles to fill a £50m black hole in its budget after the Tory-Lib Dem Government slashed its funding even further.

Since the Tories and Lib Dems joined forces in 2010, Sefton Council has had more than £324million slashed from its budget.

But Bill Esterson said there could be hope for the library if the community can come together to save it.

Bill said: "It is obviously devastating that Sefton Council no longer has the resources available to keep all of the libraries open.

"The level of cuts being imposed by this Tory-Lib Dem Government is obviously cruel and heartless and is targeting communities like those in Sefton Central.

"But we cannot let Aintree and Melling lose the library without doing all we can to investigate ways of saving it.

"I attended a preliminary meeting with local churches in Aintree and Melling together with the parish councils to look at just what we can do to retain a library service for the two communities.

"The fantastic campaign the people of Aintree and Melling held to save the library shows the level of feeling there is here. We now need to use the energy from the campaign to bring the community together to draw up a plan to save the library service."

Bill said there is a definite will to retain a service for Aintree and Melling.

Bill said: "At the previous meeting, we had a very productive conversation and agreed that churches and parish councils could work together to try to find ways of keeping the library going in the event that Sefton couldn’t get any more money from the government for its libraries.

"We have hope that somewhere the money can be found to invest in the library in Aintree for the long term and also to make sure that its running costs, including staff salaries, can be paid for. Sefton Council has given local communities time to get a plan together to save the libraries.

"If anyone else in Aintree or Melling has ideas on how to keep the library open those ideas would be very welcome.

"What the government has done by cutting the budget is a disgrace. Now it is up to the community in Aintree and Melling to find a way of saving the library service. This will not be easy, but I believe that there is a lot of expertise in the community here that can be used to keep the library service going.

"I want us to bring that expertise together for the good of Aintree and Melling."


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