THE re-opening of Lancashire libraries shut or earmarked for closure by the previous Labour county council leadership will start in November.

New Tory culture boss Peter Buckley said the phased reinstatement should take until April next year.

He told the authority’s Cabinet meeting on Thursday: “A significant amount of activity will be needed to reopen the libraries which were closed.

“Building surveys are already underway and the next step will be to produce a detailed timeline.”

Cllr Buckley promised to safeguard full library services at six libraries facing closure or service reduction including Brierfield, Bacup and Whitworth.

He pledged the phased re-opening and a full service at: Burnley Campus Library, Oswaldtwistle Library; Barrowford Library and Whalley Library and Springwood Children’s Centre.

Cllr Buckley said partially-completed asset transfers to independent community libraries at: Pike Hill, Trawden and Crawshawbooth would go ahead.

He also revealed the future of 12 other libraries would be considered for final decision at a future date.

They include: Briercliffe; Rosegrove; Rishton and Earby.

Labour had planned to close or transfer 26 of the county council 73 libraries to save cash but the Conservatives plan to retain six still open and ensure the phased reopening of 14 run by itself or as independent community libraries.

Cllr Buckley said: “Libraries are a vital service at the heart of our communities, offering free access to books and information, as well as being a place where communities can get together. “