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Campaigners 'set record straight' over Wirral dog kennel plans
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Wirral dog kennels have hit back at "mixed messages" over council cuts.
The Friends of Birkenhead Council Kennels group want to set the record straight on the council’s decision to delay the closure of the service.
It comes after Wirral's ruling cabinet outlined £109m worth of savings over the next three years, including the closure of one day centre used by vulnerable adults.
The budget proposals, which are set to be ratified by full council on March 5, would delay the saving option from the closure of the kennels in Corporation Road to allow the Friends group to put forward alternative plans.
But Friends trustee Phil Simpson said there was an element of confusion over what the local authority is planning to sacrifice.
He said: "Following the announcements on Monday, people are making comparisons between the dog kennels and the care centre which are under threat.
"But it is not as straight forward as that and I don't think everyone is aware of how much work has been put in by the Friends group.
"The decision has been delayed to allow us to put alternative proposals forward which we have now done.
"For some reason, it hasn't come across at all and the assumption is that dog kennels are being chosen over the day centres which is not true."
The Friends of Birkenhead Council Kennels was set up three years ago in a bid to fundraise for the centre and help to find new homes for some of the dogs there.
But when the service was put under threat to meet council budget needs, around 8,000 people signed a petition to try to save the kennels.
And the group have since submitted ideas which they hope will keep the doors open.
Among their proposals are changes to staffing levels and outside contractor arrangements, as well as setting up volunteer programmes.
Mr Simpson added: "It's still early days and emotions are still running high from the meeting but I think it could have been gone about in a better way so it wasn’t so easy for people to compare the kennels with the day centres.
"Of course we sympathise greatly with the people who use the centres and their families but we have seen messages on Twitter and Facebook of outrage when the fact is that people haven’t had the chance to look at our proposals which would hopefully save more than the council’s own budget option would have done."
For more information visit the group's Facebook page 'Friends of Birkenhead Council Kennels.'
Globe has contacted council leader Phil Davies and is waiting for a response.