Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Saturday, 14 March 2009

MP to present libraries petition

Library closure protest
Hundreds of local people have protested at the cuts

A Merseyside MP is to present a petition to Parliament in an attempt to save a Wirral library from closure.

Wirral Council has been heavily criticised after its decision last month to close 11 public libraries and leisure facilities.

Ben Chapman, Labour MP for Wirral South is calling for Eastham Library not to be axed because it was not on the original list earmarked for closure.

Mr Chapman said the council have been "wrong in both form and substance".

The MP will present the petition signed by hundreds of local residents to the House of Commons on Tuesday.

It comes weeks after fellow Labour MP Stephen Hesford for Wirral West, lodged an official complaint with the Local Government Ombudsman claiming the consultation process was "flawed".

The closures, including a number of community and leisure buildings, are part of a budget overhaul.

The council opted to go ahead with the closures despite huge protests from hundreds of residents.

Libraries to close are Beechwood Library, Ridgeway Library, and those in Eastham, Higher Bebington, Hoylake, Irby, New Ferry, Prenton, Seacombe, Wallasey Village and Woodchurch.

Three leisure centres were given a last-minute reprieve.

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