NORTH Ayrshire Council have set up a survival masterplan to assess the future of libraries and community facilities.

Petitions and protests have taken place in Largs to save the local library in Allanpark Street before lockdown - but the matter has been off the council agenda as the battle to respond to the Coronavirus has taken central focus. 
Largs Writers Group led the way campaigning to save the library from moving it to the Vikingar, setting up a protest group which held rallies in the town last winter.
Cllr. Alex Gallagher, of the Labour administration at NAC, said: "The council cabinet is looking at a recovery and renewal programme - and that includes the future status of our libraries and community centres.
"It will look at how we delivered the services over lockdown and which ones have the best chance of survival and how we plan to bring them back online when it is safe to do so.
"At present, we have a £20m funding gap caused by the Covid19 emergency and we are bringing services back as soon as we can afford to do so.
"Of course, we are now facing a second spike of the coronavirus so we don't as yet know how things are going to develop."
Jack Muir, of the Save the Library Protest Group, says that he hopes the review of libraries and community centres will still go ahead.
He said: "The library has served a purpose over this terrible situation as a community hub. We are still firmly under the belief that the library must be saved, both Irvine and Saltcoats libraries will be saved, so why not Largs? 
"We know there is a review coming up in March and we hope at that point that they come up with a decision that Largs Library must stay in Allanpark Street, if not before."
Thomas Reaney, Head of Service (Recovery & Renewal) at NAC, says lessons will be learned from the pandemic going forward.
He said: "The timescales are not clear, with potential for changing restrictions on life reflecting fluctuating future peaks and outbreaks, the potential for services to be restarted then stopped again over a prolonged period.
"This creates an extremely complex and challenging set of circumstances that require flexible and agile responses. The recovery is the process of rebuilding following this pandemic, to get back to “normal” functioning across our communities. 
"However, in doing so, we must recognise that what was 'normal' before may not be possible or desirable in the future and our area may be forever changed by what we have faced. 
"Therefore, a sense of renewal within communities and services, representing opportunities to return to something better and make the most of future opportunities to create a positive future is critical.
"This will only be achieved through the collective working of North Ayrshire’s communities, businesses, partner organisations and public bodies.
"Most importantly, at the heart of all decisions, must be the health and wellbeing of our residents."
All council services have been impacted by coronavirus and an initial priority will continue to be the reinstatement of services that have had to close or reduce in scale at a point that it is safe to do so.
After a number of protests about the closure of local libraries and community centres, earlier this year, the council decided to delay a decision on the future of these services until 2021 to put new plans back to the public.
However, Cllr. Gallagher told the News the future of these services will form part of the council's renewal and recovery programme going forward.