CAMPAIGNERS hit back after the council closed Hoole library while supporting a free school on the same site.
Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) gave three weeks notice to close the library, which shut its doors on Tuesday because the building is dilapidated.
The Tory council backs plans by Hoole Community Trust to run a reduced library service using volunteers at Hoole Community Centre but critics say that could be several months away if a deal is agreed.
Meanwhile, North West Academies has unveiled plans to open a free school next to Hoole library within a council building.
Anna Vickery, of the Save Hoole Library campaign, who visits the library with her three-and-a -half-year-old son Arren, said at Monday’s protest: “We are just here to make a noise about it. We just don’t want it to go quietly.”
Ms Vickery, of Hoole, who has submitted an official complaint and started a petition, added: “It’s a bit coincidental they are suddenly deciding to knock down the library and put the free school there. They’ve only put it in the public domain about a month ago they were shutting it yet they’ve known for months so why hasn’t there been any kind of public consultation?”
The council wants Hoole and Tattenhall libraries run by volunteers, with support from library services, which Ms Vickery says will ultimately lead to job losses and a poorer service for the public. She argued the free school vision was ideologically driven by the Tories and would create a ‘culture of elitism’.
Addressing allegations the council had failed to consult about the changes, a CWaC spokeswoman said: “We do not consult when it comes the health and safety of our staff and residents – this building is no longer fit for purpose, presents various high risks and must close.”