Councillor in borough library cash call

Atherton councillor Stuart Gerrard wants Wigan council to match the funds raised from the sale of Atherton Library

Friday, 30th April 2021, 1:03 pm
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 1:04 pm

A council should match the money raised from the sale of a library to invest back into a community, a councillor has said.

Atherton Centre and Library sold for £369,000 at an online auction earlier this year and all monies from it were ringfenced to be spent in the town.

Now Coun Stuart Gerrard, who represents the area on Wigan Council, is calling on the authority to match the funds generated from the sale.

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Atherton Centre and Library

He also hopes that once work starts on the Formby Hall site, that the overage payment will also be ringfenced for the town.

Any investment would go towards “dedicated facilities for all age groups”, he said.

Coun Gerrard said: “When the Library was sold we ensured that all monies raised was ringfenced to be spent in Atherton.

“We achieved that,and also once work begins on the Formby Hall site the overage payment will also be ringfenced for Atherton.

“We need to ensure that this money can be put back into the community and not used to top up budgets for normal works that comes out of the council tax.

“At a meeting last week we asked if the council will match the monies raised, so we can truly invest in the community with dedicated facilities for all age groups.”

He added that councillors will be having another meeting with the CEO of the council to see if the proposal is viable and discuss when the money might be available.

But the authority said it could not make any guarantee to back the calls.

It said that it has a £25m deficit over the next three years and has suffered “significant losses” as result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The council added that although it said it is committed to supporting local communities to thrive, any financial proposals would need to be considered against the situation and the statutory pressures it faces.

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