Wirral council have announced the closure of nine libraries as part of their £27m budget savings.
Bromborough, Higher Bebbington, Hoylake, New Ferry, Irby, Pensby, Prenton, Wallasey Village and Woodchurch libraries are all set to close by the end of October.
Wirral council said: “These particular closures follow wider consultation and were part of the council’s budget setting process in February 2022.”
Many community and not-for-profit organisations such as schools and churches have shown interest in taking over most of the libraries and have submitted business cases to the council for an asset transfer
However, Bromborough library is not as lucky. Due to the library also being part of the civic hall, it is not allowed to be part of Wirral’s community asset transfer process.
Bromborough local, Ruth Molyneux, has been fighting for the library for months and started a petition that has so far received almost a thousand signatures.
Green Party councillor for Bromborough Jo Bird motioned for the library to stay open as a warm hub to help locals stay warm during the cost-of-living crisis. This was denied by the council despite protests from locals.
Jo Bird said: “Wirral council have the money to keep the libraries open. It has £115m in reserves as of last March. Bromborough has been betrayed.”
“These are extraordinary circumstances with the cost-of-living crisis. People are living in very cold homes and keeping the library open as a warm hub is a no-brainer.”
Local actor Christopher Lee-Power contacted Wirral council to try and use the library for his charity, Power Foundation for Young People. The charity allegedly contacted 90 councillors asking for space to use, only receiving a response from Jo Bird.
Christopher said: “I get frustrated when there are empty buildings in the community like the civil hall that are now going to be closed. Where do we go?”
A meeting will commence October 25 to determine the future of the libraries.
Watch our video report as Mersey News Live investigates the impact these library closures will have on the Wirral.