Library users hit out at consultation process

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USERS of one threatened library have blasted the consultation process.

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust opened the public consultation procedure with a meeting at Wigan and Leigh College this week.

But some furious Standish library users claim that the decision to hold it at least four miles away in the early evening will have discouraged many people from attending.

Standish ward Coun George Fairhurst, who is heading the fight to save the library, attacked the decision not to hold the meeting in the village. He said: ‘‘It’s scandalous that a consultation meeting about something so crucial to Standish is held so far away and at night. I have had a number of complaints from elderly and disabled people that getting to the college, particularly on public transport and at that time of the day, is awkward.

‘‘Surely they could have held a meeting in Standish in the Community Centre, or the Unity Club, if the library itself wasn’t available.”

But a Trust spokesman said consultations were being held in locations which could hold a large number of consultees.

A spokesman said: “This is a borough-wide consultation and as such neutral locations with the capacity to hold a large audience have been chosen in five locations throughout the borough. The time has been chosen to allow as many people to access the meetings after working hours.

“We would encourage everyone to attend these meetings but would like to take the opportunity to remind people that consultation is also being carried out through a range of other mechanisms including questionnaires.’’

Further information on the consultation can be found by visiting a library or at www.wlct.org

The remaining meetings are: Atherton and Tyldesley Botanical Gardens Association, Tuesday, February 8; Leigh Sports Village, Leigh, Wednesday, February 9; Westfield Community School, Pemberton, Thursday, February 10. All meetings start at 6pm.