Lytham library Institute please make a representation see links below.
A New consultation on Lytham Institute
Members will be aware that due to community pressure and actions taken by LSA Civic Society, Lytham Institute is a charity. This means it cannot be sold on the open market as an asset of the council as was intended. It had been deemed as “surplus to requirements” by the council and when charitable status was gained this led them (as sole trustee of the charity) to vest their powers in the Finance and Democracy (F&D) committee, which deals with such “unwanted” properties.
Although the aims and objects of the charity date back to 1917 they are fairly wide in scope, yet the council are proposing a new scheme under which the charity will operate, to be agreed by the Charity Commission. The 1917 scheme includes various educational and recreational activities for the benefit of the community of Lytham, and which are still needed today.
At the meeting of the F&D committee in October 2021 it was proposed that the activities should take place in the Institute “or other appropriate premises”. Gareth Nash, chair of the Friends of the Institute, and Marion Coupe, chair of the Civic Society spoke against this. It would open the door to the building being sold. The members of the F&D committee found it difficult to separate their role as a committee of the council, and their role as charity trustees. Voting appeared to be on party lines and the proposal was carried.
We were surprised to see this and disappointed that no Lytham Councillors had a vote. In particular we noted that Cllr Richard Redcliffe voted for the proposal in spite of being very much a supporter of the plans to restore Ansdell Institute. Our barrister tells us that the proposed new wording should not be included.
The next part of the process is a consultation on the proposed new scheme – this has suddenly just begun with no notice given. We must respond.
So what do we want out of this?
• A community building to enrich the lives of residents as was intended by those who generously donated to establish it. We have loads of ideas and expect you do too.
• A building which will be an important part of the infrastructure of the town centre. Many local authorities are creating spaces like this to help regenerate after Covid.
• It should accommodate a Tourist Information Centre as our town centre does not have one.
• The Institute is actually still in use! Lytham Heritage Group have worked for many years to establish an archive accessible by all and have been donated many papers and artefacts. They have nowhere else to go. Keeping the Institute going, and improving it, is important for local community cohesion. There are other sessional users, and the Civic Society leases an important dry storage room.
• Many residents and local groups have backed the campaign to save this building, plans have been made on how to use and fund it. Before Covid, plans were developing for a meeting of stakeholders to be held with the council. Now our requests for a meeting are being turned down. We want a meeting so that we can all move forward together!
You can find a link to the consultation here:
or here: This link will take you straight to the Lytham InstituteI scheme page where you can choose. Make Representation
apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Details.aspx?PDFName=030462Lytham library Institute
It will then take you to the charity commission website.
If you would like any further information or can offer any help please contact us ASAP. Feel free to circulate this message.