Twenty libraries and children’s centres across East Lancashire are set to face the axe.
The bombshell recommendation was made by Lancashire County Council officials shortly before 8 pm on the Friday before a Bank Holiday Weekend.
Libraries set to close include Rosegrove, Briercliffe, Barrowford, Trawden, Oswaldtwistle, Rishton, Whalley and Read.
The move has been slammed by campaigners who submitted petitions and fought for months to keep the crucial services open.
Mr Neil Martin, a spokesman for the Save Whalley Library campaign, said: “This is very disappointing news, and a great blow to the community, along with the other cuts the residents of the Ribble Valley have experienced such as bus services. I feel that the process of the consultation has not been fairly carried out and I feel our voices over saving our community asset has been left unheard officially.”
Ribble Valley resident and campaigner, Mr Ged Mirfin, was equally disappointed. He said: “Despite the tremendous/valiant efforts of our enthusiastic team of volunteers, Lancashire County Council’s officers very late on Friday night took the decision to recommend the closure of Whalley Library and Spring Wood Children’s Centre - a decision that will be ratified at Cabinet on Tuesday, September 6th - the day after children go back to school.
“Be under no illusion that this is a political decision which was taken some time in advance. Concerns raised about rural isolation, service centre provision, the impact on elderly residents and the need to service the demand created by new housing have simply been ignored.”
Under the plans, Brierfield Library has been saved from closure.