A Lancashire County Council social media post 'celebrating' the launch of its warm spaces scheme to support residents struggling with heating bills has been altered after condemnation from a Labour politician.

The Conservative controlled authority posted on Facebook and X: "Warm spaces are once again being delivered in libraries across Lancashire.

"To celebrate the relaunch of #LancashireWarmSpaces, we dropped in to Kingsfold Library in Penwortham to speak to some of our regulars."

This infuriated Cllr Samara Barnes, who represents Hareholme ward on Rossendale Council and Rossendale West division on the county authority.

Lancashire Telegraph: Cllr Samara Barnes condemned the postCllr Samara Barnes condemned the post

She posted in response: "We absolutely should not be 'celebrating' these."

Now the county council has replaced the word 'celebrate' with 'mark' on the posts.

Labour's Cllr Barnes told the Lancashire Telegraph: "I was appalled to see that Lancashire County Council had used the term 'celebrating' in their comms around warm banks, as this is absolutely the last thing we should be doing.

"We should recognise that this is the second year that the local authority has had to step in and support our residents due to the cost of living crisis caused by the failings of our Tory government.

"Celebrating this would be akin to celebrating the opening of a new food bank.

"Who would have thought in 2023 we would be in a position where we are opening up our public spaces and encouraging people to use them to keep warm.

"I find it quite gross that its being pitched as a good news story - the angle is crass, we should recognise our effort, but certainly not celebrate it."

Lancashire Telegraph: County Councillors at the warm bank libraryCounty Councillors at the warm bank library

A spokesperson for Lancashire County Council said: "This was a genuine mistake and absolutely does not reflect the council's position on this really important subject.

"Our warm hubs programme made a huge difference to so many people last year and we wanted to make sure residents knew they could access this valuable service once again this year.

"We really hope that people will take up this offer and pop into their local library where they can enjoy a cuppa and a warm welcome."

Cllr Michael Green, Lancashire County Council's health and wellbeing boss, said: "We want people to know that there is support out there to help with the cost of living.

"The offering in our warm spaces encourages people to stay in the library and gives staff a chance to tell them about the many things the library has to offer and what further support is out there."