A MP has called for Lancashire County Council to be abolished after it confirmed the closure of libraries and community centres across the region.

The council’s cabinet has given the go-ahead to plans to reduce the number of buildings it owns and rents, and form a network of ‘multi-functional’ buildings known as ‘neighbourhood centres’, which will provide a base for a range of different services in one place.

Nigel Evans, who represents the Ribble Valley, has said that he would be lobbying ministers to close the council and that it was unfit to run the services.


County Hall has said that the reforms will ‘deliver millions of pounds of savings’.

It will result in changes to where some services are delivered in the future, including libraries, children’s services, children’s centres, young people’s centres, youth offending teams, older people’s daytime support services, adult disability day services and registrars.

Meanwhile more than 100 buildings will no longer be used for county council services and the number of places at which some services are available will reduce.

The cabinet also agreed to explore proposals by a number of community groups and other organisations to take on responsibility for running some of the affected buildings and services, with 43 business cases having been submitted so far.

The council has said that the changes have been brought in in response to forecasts that it will need to save a further £150million by 2020/21 as a result of ongoing government cuts to its budget and rising demand for services.

Feedback received during a 12-week consultation helped to shape a revised set of proposals which featured changes to the original plans for which buildings will be used to deliver services in future, council bosses said.

Conservative MP Mr Evans said: “They are simply savaging services in rural areas like my constituency.

“They are butchering key places in the Ribble Valley like Whalley Library and Spring Wood Children’s Centre.

“This is the last thing the village needs after the flooding.

“The county council has proved itself unfit to run services and should be abolished.

“I shall be lobbying government ministers to close it down as it has so many vital services paid for by council tax payers.”

Julie Cooper, the Labour MP for Burnley, said: “I remain very concerned by the scale of these cuts by the council but the Treasury refuse to listen to warnings about the affect of their financial cuts to councils to people on the ground.”

County Councillor David Borrow, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council and portfolio holder for finance, said: “Most importantly, the plans agreed by cabinet today mean people will still have good access to good services whilst allowing the council to deliver some of the huge savings we need to make.

“We don’t want to be in a position where we have to make changes to services which we know people value a great deal, and these proposals have been very difficult for councillors to consider.

“However the county council is in a very severe financial position due to the ongoing cuts in central government funding combined with rising demand for our services, and the only way we can maintain the services that people rely on is to deliver them in a different way.

“Even assuming council tax increases of 3.99 per cent over the next four years, we will still need to find savings of around £150million.”