READERS who use Great Sankey, Grappenhall and mobile library services will be left without their libraries from April.

Warrington Borough Council’s executive voted to close the three services to save money despite opposition from library users, some of whom will be forced to travel further to their closest library.

Three executive board members – Clr Alan Litton (LD – Great Sankey South), Clr Liz Smith (LD – Great Sankey South) and Clr Mike Biggin (LD – Grappenhall and Thelwall) – abstained from the vote.

But the rest of the executive voted in favour of closure after a public consultation.

Clr Bob Timmis, executive member for leisure and skills, said: “We know reviews of library provision and reduction in library provision are happening right across the country.

“Warrington is looking at making a small but significant reduction in its facilities to ensure a good quality of service across the board.”

Great Sankey South and Grappenhall councillors on the executive board also voiced their concerns.

Clr Smith said: “I’m concerned because the community room at Great Sankey Library is the only community facility in quite a wide radius in a highly populated area where people would struggle to reach further afield.”

Clr Litton added: “Great Sankey is a proper community centre with a community room that is used by a variety of groups.”

They were told the buildings could still be used for community activities.

Clr Timmis said: “The buildings would be put forward by the library service to form part of any community asset transfer programme.

“There would be an opportunity for community groups to take them on and run them,” he added.

Clr Biggin called for alternative schemes for the areas to be put in place quickly. The people of Grappenhall should not lose out on library provision.

“We need to get working quickly to let residents know what alternatives there are for them,” he said.

The meeting was told that the council was looking to use volunteers to extend its home library service.

Clr Timmis also praised the book exchange in a disused phone box near the Hatton Arms.

He called on more to be set up in communities across the town.

Library staff who were at the meeting on Monday night at the town hall were assured that there would be no redundancies with the closures of the three services from Clr Timmis.

The libraries will close from April 1.