Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson calls meeting between com

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with Aintree Village Parish Councillors and library campaigners.


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson is organising a meeting with Aintree Village and Melling parish councils, local churches and community groups to look at ways to save the Village's library service.

Aintree Library is under threat of closure after the Tory-Lib Dem Government slashed funding to Sefton Council by another £43 million over the next two years. Tories and Lib Dems have already slashed Sefton's budget over the past two years by £64.5m, making the total cuts to Sefton Council a huge £107.5m.

In order to balance the financial blackhole caused by the government's cuts, council officers drew up options on how the savings might be made. This included the closure of all but six of the borough's libraries.

Sefton is currently holding a public consultation into the future of the library service in the borough.

Bill Esterson said he was determined to save the service for the people of Aintree and Melling.

Bill said: "We can't let the library service be taken away from the people of Aintree and Melling. I want to do all I can to ensure that the service is saved here.

"But while this Tory-Lib Dem Government is intent on squeezing Sefton Council's budget to breaking point, we need to think creatively about what steps we need to take.

"That's why I want to bring together the key people from Aintree and Melling, the churches and parish councillors to look at what we can do to save the service.

"This is about listening to all ideas. The parish councils, the local churches and community groups are at the very heart of the community and they will play an integral role in ensuring that the library service is saved.

"I will do all I can to support them and their efforts."

Bill said the library in Aintree was a vital service for the two communities.

Bill said: "We all know how vital our local libraries are in our communities, particularly to many of the most vulnerable people.

"Sefton councillors are in an impossible position as they try to balance the inadequate budget they have been given which must pay for vital services in the borough.

"But libraries, particularly Aintree Village's, is a vital part of the community. It is a place where people of all ages can go and get access to information, the internet and books, and also meet other people.

"For many older people the library is the only way they get to meet people. Aintree Library is an integral part of the communities of Aintree and Melling and I want to see it saved.

"I will be doing all I can to safeguard our libraries and I continue to lobby this Tory-Lib Dem Government to provide more money to Sefton to ensure that it can continue to provide the excellent services which it currently provides."

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