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Sister weeklies unite to save libraries threatened with axe

A petition to save up to 10 libraries threatened with closure by government cuts has been launched by two sister weeklies.

The Accrington Observer and Rossendale Free Press are calling on readers to help save the libraries on its patch, after Lancashire County Council announced it may have to close up to half of the libraries under its control.

The authority says shutting one library in each of its 12 district council areas would meet its statutory obligations, but has warned that none are safe from the axe.

The two newspapers launched the petition on their respective front pages on Friday 20 November.

The Rossendale Free Press front pagw which launched the campaign

The Rossendale Free Press front page which launched the campaign

In the borough of Hyndburn, on the Observer’s patch, libraries in Accrington, Oswaldtwistle, Rishton, Great Harwood and Clayton-le-Moors are under threat.

In Rossendale, facilities at Rawtenstall, Crawshawbooth, Haslingden, Whitworth and Bacup are at risk.

A blurb accompanying the petition reads: “We say that libraries play a vital role in our communities, from giving people young and old access to books, acting as a community hub and providing community spaces for local groups.”

Gareth Tidman, who edits both titles, said: “Please sign the petition to show your opposition to these plans.

“We understand the county council is facing severe financial pressures, but to strip our communities of these vital community facilities is not the answer.”

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