At its June meeting, members of Prestonpans and District Labour Party unanimously opposed proposals by East Lothian Council to close the local office at Aldhammer House and relocate services to the town's public library.
In a strongly worded resolution, local party members were critical of the Council's consultation paper which fails to mention the costs that would be required to accommodate additional Council staff in the library and what proposals Council officials have for Aldhammer House.
Branch Secretary and former East Lothian Council leader and Provost, Pat O'Brien, said:
"This proposal makes no sense coming at a time when there is a growing demand on housing and welfare services which are delivered from Aldhammer House. It is not appropriate to put frontline social services in a community library and this proposal takes no account of future housing developments and the regeneration of the Cockenzie power station site."
The resolution calls on the Council to withdraw it's proposal and to look at ways of decentralising more Council services to Aldhammer House. It also criticised the plans to relocate the computer room in the library which provides an important social service assisting job seekers apply for work.
Prestonpans Labour Party Chairperson Brian Weddell commented:
"This ill conceived and poorly researched consultation paper makes no case for closing a well used local office and has simply lit the blue torch paper with local people in Prestonpans, already reeling from the recent announcement by RBS that it plans to close the only remaining bank in the town. The local Labour Party will fight this injustice and call on the Labour councillors to keep Aldhammer House open and look at ways of locating more local services there."
The consultation closes on 24th June and Labour party members are urging local people to register their opposition online at www.eastlothianconsultations.co.uk