COUNCILLOR Tony Higgins, executive board member for leisure, community and culture who is responsible for changes to the library service, said he is ‘pleased’ with LiveWire’s recommendations in a report based on the results of a public consultation.

He said the council cannot ignore residents’ feelings about the closure of libraries and therefore, if the executive board members agree, LiveWire’s original plans will not go ahead.

But he added: “Doing nothing is not an option and we must be realistic about securing a sustainable future for our libraries within the limited resources that we have.

“As a result of government funding cuts, the council’s budget has already reduced by more than £92 million since 2010 and we still have more than £40 million of reductions to make. No-one wants to make cuts to services, but the reality is that you can’t take away more than a third of the council’s budget and expect there to be no impact.

“A number of suggestions that were put forward during the consultation process will be explored as part of the next stage of the review.

“This includes community asset transfer, developing community learning hubs and increasing commercial subsidy to offset the need for cuts. LiveWire has also made a number of recommendations to us that we will carefully consider but cannot rule in, or out, at this stage. This includes potential investment in library buildings and community facilities. 

“I am grateful to everyone who has contributed their views during the consultation process and I now want to ensure that we work with our communities and with LiveWire to achieve the very best library service that we can within the funding constraints that we face.”

IT was set to move into a wellbeing hub in the unit currently occupied by Funky Dory Shoes in Golden Square, but has been saved.

A £5 million planned heritage hub is still due to be built at the Museum Street library and the council will work to promote the Cultural Quarter and bring more visitors into the centre.

Livewire is hoping to move the library into a new unit as part of a wellbeing hub, which will also be home to other community activities.

A FUNDING bid will be made for money to build a neighbourhood hub at the tennis and leisure centre and the library could be relocated in the new building.

Residents and councillors are still working with LiveWire on plans to save the library.

Options include relocating the library or a community asset transfer. It is hoped a decision will be reached by the summer.

A WELLBEING hub is set to be established at Burtonwood, with LiveWire teaming up with a commercial partner to help maintain the building and offer longer opening hours.

The business it will partner with has not yet been confirmed but the move is expected to happen this summer.

Lymm could see longer opening hours as the parish council works to team up with other organisations who might share the site with them. 

Parish councillor Graham Gowland said residents are ‘cautiously optimistic’.

He added: “News the library could not only be saved but with extended opening hours is fantastic. We are cautious over possible partners, but are hopeful they could work well alongside the library provision.”

Stockton Heath Library could be kept open by using the parish precept to fund the site or by sharing the building with a partner organisation. 

The parish council is exploring options and a report on the plans is expected by this summer.

Poulton with Fearnhead Parish Council is in discussions with potential businesses it could team up with to help maintain Padgate Library and it is also looking at options for relocating or a community asset transfer.

In Penketh the library will continue to stay open until plans have been submitted by Warrington Borough Council for a new development of the Honiton Way area.

The report also details plans for a neighbourhood hub at Broomfields to provide LiveWire services for residents in south Warrington.