LIBRARIES AXED

Wirral Globe: FINAL CHAPTER: Birkenhead’s historic Central Library will be closed and could even face being demolished FINAL CHAPTER: Birkenhead’s historic Central Library will be closed and could even face being demolished

FOURTEEN libraries, three leisure centres and the Pacific Road arts venue are to be closed in a massive cost-cutting exercise proposed by Wirral Council.

A further twenty council properties including the former Birkenhead town hall in Hamilton Square, Leasowe Recreation Centre and a string of council-funded community centres and village halls across the borough also face being transferred to “community management” - where staff and funding are withdrawn to be replaced with volunteers and fundraisers.

The council admits that the drastic changes “will have significant implications for staff affected”, and that many of the buildings - like Birkenhead Library - face being mothballed or demolished.

Council leader Steve Foulkes said: “Doing nothing was never an option. If we leave things as they are we will be left with crumbling buildings, mounting repair costs and escalating levels of council tax.”

The borough hopes to make money from selling off “prime waterfront” sites like the one currently home to Guinea Gap Recreation Centre in Seacombe, which is included in the closures.

The moves are all part of the council’s wide-ranging review of its assets.

It is aiming to make savings by re-examining the number of buildings under its control, many of which were inherited when the council was formed in 1974 from the five former Wirral district councils.

A meeting of the council’s ruling “cabinet” committee this Thursday evening is being asked to approve the radical plans, which it is estimated could save the authority £3.7m a year.

To offset the closures - which the council wants to start as early as March next year - it instead intends to invest £20m over a four-year period to provide “better but fewer” buildings for taxpayers’ use.

These include five either new or improved “multi-purpose complexes” - some incorporating One Stop Shops and health centres - in Bebington, Birkenhead, Liscard, Moreton and West Kirby, and with seven other, smaller centres elsewhere in Wirral.

Both Birkenhead and Wallasey Central Libaries will be closed, but will be rehoused in the new mutli-purpose complexes to be built in their respective towns. Better opening hours, online bookings and free Wi-Fi are being mooted.

But the twelve libraries listed for complete closure are those in Hoylake, Pensby, Upton, Irby, Bromborough, Higher Bebington, New Ferry, Seacombe, Wallasey Village, Prenton, Ridgeway and Beechwood.

Woodchurch Leisure Centre, Grange Road West Sports Centre and Guinea Gap will all close, as will the Pacific Road Arts Centre, whose facilities will be transferred to the newly-refurbished Floral Pavilion in New Brighton, due to open again next month.

Council leader Steve Foulkes added: “It is essential that we carry out a comprehensive review of all the council’s built assets to ensure they are fit for the 21st Century and beyond.

“By investing £20million to provide better but fewer buildings, Wirral residents will be able to enjoy high-quality and efficient modern facilities while keeping council tax at an acceptable level.

“The residents of Wirral deserve to access excellent services from buildings that are modern and appropriate, without taxpayers having to pay for the burden of old, energy inefficient buildings that are no longer fit for purpose.

“Change is never easy and we understand that people can become attached to the buildings that they use and which are familiar to them.

“These proposals are rightly radical and comprehensive and will have implications for residents across the borough, not to mention many of our own staff.

“Through consultation and communication with all those affected, we hope to minimise any negative impact of these proposals and move towards the goal of sustainable, modern, energy efficient buildings which will also contribute to the regeneration of our poorest areas.”

The plans also include a score of buildings being transferred from being council-run to “community management” schemes.

They are community centres in Hoylake, Pensby, Kylemore, Leasowe (both Recreation and Community), Moreton, Grosvenor Ballroom, Delamere, Beechwood, Gautby Road, Livingstone Street, Noctorum, West Kirby’s Westbourne Hall, Thingwall’s Ivy Farm, New Brighton’s Vale House, New Ferry Village Hall, Heswall’s Alexander Hall and Bebington’s Victoria Hall.

The Wirral Museum - the former Birkenhead town hall in Hamilton Square - and Wirral Transport Museum, in the Pacific Road complex, are also being explored for “alternative uses” such as being taken over by trusts or even redevelopment.

Tory group leader Cllr Jeff Green said: “Before the local elections, we warned of the existence of this report. And in spite of losing seats, the Labour administration’s plans, propped up by the Liberal Democrats, have been exposed just before Christmas.

“We have to ask what the administration thinks they are there for. Providing basic public services such as libraries, leisure centres and community centres should be a priority yet these services seem to now be classed as an optional extra that Wirral no longer needs.

“If the council doesn’t do libraries, community centres or lollipop ladies, what does it do? “There will be many people who will read of these plans in disbelief - unable to understand how the council got themselves into this mess, and who can blame them?

“Labour and the Liberal Democrats have been secretive and deceitful and, as we saw with the school crossing patrols, there has been absolutely no consultation with the people who use these vital services.

“Wirral needs change. These cuts show how out of touch this council administration has become and the people of Wirral are going to pay a high price for the Labour and Liberal Democrat deal.”

The plans go before council cabinet on Thursday evening. If approved, as likely, there will then be a period of public consultation.

Comments (57)

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3:22pm Tue 25 Nov 08

Furor Teutonicus says...

xxx If approved, as likely, there will then be a period of public consultation. xxx

As thewre was with the Newberry (sp?) by pass, or the new Heathrow terminal, the Manchester air port run way extention, or a thousand other "bright ideas" that the "Government" come up with over their morning corn flakes?

"period of public consultation." means, translated into REAL person speak;

"We will make hundreds of barristers VERY rich from enquiry after enquiry, whilst all along having NO intention of listening to the outcome, and going ahead and doing what we wanted in the first place".


xxx If approved, as likely, there will then be a period of public consultation. xxx As thewre was with the Newberry (sp?) by pass, or the new Heathrow terminal, the Manchester air port run way extention, or a thousand other "bright ideas" that the "Government" come up with over their morning corn flakes? "period of public consultation." means, translated into REAL person speak; "We will make hundreds of barristers VERY rich from enquiry after enquiry, whilst all along having NO intention of listening to the outcome, and going ahead and doing what we wanted in the first place". Furor Teutonicus

6:35pm Tue 25 Nov 08

nopasties says...

Presumably these "cost-cutting " exercises will mean no rise in council tax then?!.......(not!). There is no way this pill can be sugared-it's terrible news for communities and the future knock on effects of increased crime, anti-social behaviour. But as with everything it is only measured in immediate money terms not long term costs to our communities and indeed society.
Take away the heart and watch it die.
Presumably these "cost-cutting " exercises will mean no rise in council tax then?!.......(not!). There is no way this pill can be sugared-it's terrible news for communities and the future knock on effects of increased crime, anti-social behaviour. But as with everything it is only measured in immediate money terms not long term costs to our communities and indeed society. Take away the heart and watch it die. nopasties

7:42pm Tue 25 Nov 08

piggymalone says...

What heritage will be left for the people of Wirral after this council have finished....ah, I can think of one, a £35,000 stainless steel clown, very appropriate.
What heritage will be left for the people of Wirral after this council have finished....ah, I can think of one, a £35,000 stainless steel clown, very appropriate. piggymalone

7:54pm Tue 25 Nov 08

glenn, moreton says...

This is good news for people who struggle to pay their inflated council tax because it won't be long before the council cut every service we have.There will soon be nothing left for them to charge us for.
This is good news for people who struggle to pay their inflated council tax because it won't be long before the council cut every service we have.There will soon be nothing left for them to charge us for. glenn, moreton

8:37pm Tue 25 Nov 08

MX says...

I can recall a masterclass in spin from Foulkes last year when he said that the massive migration from Wirral of trained, educated and wealthy people was a sign that Wirral was a great place to live (come again?).
No it's not it's a sign that Wirral is all Foulkes'd-up......an
d I do wish he'd stop saying "doing nothing is not an option" he said that about Social Services cuts the other week (and are you surprised they have to make cuts when they have a whistleblowing bill to pay?!).
He needs to change the record and finds another catchphrase.Might I suggest "I resign...."
I can recall a masterclass in spin from Foulkes last year when he said that the massive migration from Wirral of trained, educated and wealthy people was a sign that Wirral was a great place to live (come again?). No it's not it's a sign that Wirral is all Foulkes'd-up......an d I do wish he'd stop saying "doing nothing is not an option" he said that about Social Services cuts the other week (and are you surprised they have to make cuts when they have a whistleblowing bill to pay?!). He needs to change the record and finds another catchphrase.Might I suggest "I resign...." MX

9:09pm Tue 25 Nov 08

slowcoach90 says...

Seems the council has just spent/wasted £200.000 repairing the skylights at Birkenhead Central Library....or is this for the benefit
Seems the council has just spent/wasted £200.000 repairing the skylights at Birkenhead Central Library....or is this for the benefit slowcoach90

11:12pm Tue 25 Nov 08

mature student says...

I cannot believe that the Wirral Borough Council could consider closing the library resources in our area.
The cuts are in the areas that really need these services, providing the ability for people with limited resources to educate themselves and meet with others for study.
I started attending Prenton library two years ago for learning to use the computer and all classes were well supported by the local people. In the last two years I have been educated to a high standard by using Prenton library. Without their help and support I would not have achieved the standard of competency I have now achieved.
My grandchild who is two years old has been registered with the Library for early learning books to progress with the most important time of his life for learning.
The Ridgeway library is where I now attend and the course is due to finish late summer 2009. Other classes are also held at Ridgeway and when I enter the library groups of people daily are in the centre discussing various projects and fundraising events.
I cannot believe that the Wirral Borough Council could consider closing the library resources in our area. The cuts are in the areas that really need these services, providing the ability for people with limited resources to educate themselves and meet with others for study. I started attending Prenton library two years ago for learning to use the computer and all classes were well supported by the local people. In the last two years I have been educated to a high standard by using Prenton library. Without their help and support I would not have achieved the standard of competency I have now achieved. My grandchild who is two years old has been registered with the Library for early learning books to progress with the most important time of his life for learning. The Ridgeway library is where I now attend and the course is due to finish late summer 2009. Other classes are also held at Ridgeway and when I enter the library groups of people daily are in the centre discussing various projects and fundraising events. mature student

11:23pm Tue 25 Nov 08

Anne3 says...

Yet again Wirral Council is taking us in the wrong direction. It cites energy saving as one of the reasons yet does not mention the increased travel distance for 100s of people.
At a time of soaring energy costs and climate change, we need to be relocalising essential services and creating more vibrant, resilient local communities and economies. This is not the way to achieve this!

There must be an alternative.
Wirral needs a fresh voice on the council.
Yet again Wirral Council is taking us in the wrong direction. It cites energy saving as one of the reasons yet does not mention the increased travel distance for 100s of people. At a time of soaring energy costs and climate change, we need to be relocalising essential services and creating more vibrant, resilient local communities and economies. This is not the way to achieve this! There must be an alternative. Wirral needs a fresh voice on the council. Anne3

12:02am Wed 26 Nov 08

bigfoot says...

WE could always petition for an elected mayor,rather than a council leader who is appointed by the majority of members.
WE could always petition for an elected mayor,rather than a council leader who is appointed by the majority of members. bigfoot

5:48am Wed 26 Nov 08

TheGodSplinter says...


You Council SCUM!

You will be remembered - name by name!
You Council SCUM! You will be remembered - name by name! TheGodSplinter

8:53am Wed 26 Nov 08

rk0001 says...

I am a Wirral resident and I was appalled to hear of the massive cuts Wirral Council are planning. I have lived on Wirral all my life and remember clearly when growing up in the 1970’s there being one gallery (Williamson) and one theatre (Floral Pavilion). In the intervening years, much has been done to improve the cultural lot of Wirral residents including Wirral Museum, Pacific Road Theatre, Transport Museum et al. Now the Labour group plan to take us back to the 1970’s – never mind the millions which have been spent on cultural provision in the meantime (£10million for Pacific Road just being one example). Don’t forget that Pacific Road Theatre is not only a theatre, there are local businesses based there too, plus BuzzRadio’s media centre (I wonder what they are broadcasting this morning?) and, very importantly, the Wirral Youth Theatre who also use the theatre facilities to produce children’s shows, gigs etc. giving countless opportunities to young people.

As for the ‘£11.5million’ spent by Wirral Council ‘in comprehensively redeveloping the Floral Pavilion’, £8million of this is from European funding and £1million is a private investment from Neptune Developments, with the balance which Wirral Council have contributed being repaid to them on completion of the Phase 2 development in New Brighton. So reach for your calculators and give a big hand to the Council for spending so much on our new Theatre.

Steve Foulkes (Labour) has said in this morning’s Daily Post that ‘doing nothing was never an option’ and I have to disagree with this – doing nothing may not be an option now, but the Council have got into this mess by having done nothing for many years, and their chickens are now coming home to roost. Mr Foulkes also said ‘We are a two-star authority and our aim is to become a four-star council. Sefton is larger geographically and has eight libraries, yet is a four-star council. We have 24 libraries.’ The reason Wirral is a two-star authority is the shambles of a Corporate Services department they run which dragged our rating down to two stars. This had nothing whatsoever to do with libraries and I wish Mr Foulkes well with his house-hunting in Sefton.

There are no local government elections on Wirral next year and I am sure that the Labour group think that implementing these cuts now (i.e. before the end of the current financial year) will leave enough time for the memories to fade and the broken Cultural Services department to be swept neatly under the corporate carpet in Wallasey Town Hall before elections in 2010 – out of sight, out of mind.

Steve Maddox (Chief Exec) and Jim Wilkie (his deputy) stand proudly on the deck of their sinking ship – it’s time they faced up to the fact that it was they who tore the holes in her side, and fall on their sword.
I am a Wirral resident and I was appalled to hear of the massive cuts Wirral Council are planning. I have lived on Wirral all my life and remember clearly when growing up in the 1970’s there being one gallery (Williamson) and one theatre (Floral Pavilion). In the intervening years, much has been done to improve the cultural lot of Wirral residents including Wirral Museum, Pacific Road Theatre, Transport Museum et al. Now the Labour group plan to take us back to the 1970’s – never mind the millions which have been spent on cultural provision in the meantime (£10million for Pacific Road just being one example). Don’t forget that Pacific Road Theatre is not only a theatre, there are local businesses based there too, plus BuzzRadio’s media centre (I wonder what they are broadcasting this morning?) and, very importantly, the Wirral Youth Theatre who also use the theatre facilities to produce children’s shows, gigs etc. giving countless opportunities to young people. As for the ‘£11.5million’ spent by Wirral Council ‘in comprehensively redeveloping the Floral Pavilion’, £8million of this is from European funding and £1million is a private investment from Neptune Developments, with the balance which Wirral Council have contributed being repaid to them on completion of the Phase 2 development in New Brighton. So reach for your calculators and give a big hand to the Council for spending so much on our new Theatre. Steve Foulkes (Labour) has said in this morning’s Daily Post that ‘doing nothing was never an option’ and I have to disagree with this – doing nothing may not be an option now, but the Council have got into this mess by having done nothing for many years, and their chickens are now coming home to roost. Mr Foulkes also said ‘We are a two-star authority and our aim is to become a four-star council. Sefton is larger geographically and has eight libraries, yet is a four-star council. We have 24 libraries.’ The reason Wirral is a two-star authority is the shambles of a Corporate Services department they run which dragged our rating down to two stars. This had nothing whatsoever to do with libraries and I wish Mr Foulkes well with his house-hunting in Sefton. There are no local government elections on Wirral next year and I am sure that the Labour group think that implementing these cuts now (i.e. before the end of the current financial year) will leave enough time for the memories to fade and the broken Cultural Services department to be swept neatly under the corporate carpet in Wallasey Town Hall before elections in 2010 – out of sight, out of mind. Steve Maddox (Chief Exec) and Jim Wilkie (his deputy) stand proudly on the deck of their sinking ship – it’s time they faced up to the fact that it was they who tore the holes in her side, and fall on their sword. rk0001

8:56am Wed 26 Nov 08

JaneS says...

Ironically this is National Year of Reading. Proposing to close libraries and civic centres is disgraceful!
Ironically this is National Year of Reading. Proposing to close libraries and civic centres is disgraceful! JaneS

10:16am Wed 26 Nov 08

Hath says...

I bet Wallasey loses out yet again.... I am sick to death of hearing about how wonderful Birkenhed is and hearing about all the improvements being made there, I am expecting the forgotten Area of Liscard/Egremont & Wallasey to bear the brunt of the closures lets face it everything else here is going while Birkenhead gets the lions share of anything good. Why not when rebuilding (if that ever happens) Central Parks Liscard Hall put a large Community Centre/Advice Centre/Library/Lesui
re/Community Facility there. I hope that the three Conservative Councillors are going to try and opose the cuts in Wallasey but I'm not holding my breath!!! As for a central Library in Birkenhead well thats typical of funding and facilities being leeched away from Wallasey and being given to Birkenhead... What about all us Council Tax payers in Wallasey? What about the children in Wallasey who arent going to be able to travel to Birkenhead to use the Library facilities!!
I bet Wallasey loses out yet again.... I am sick to death of hearing about how wonderful Birkenhed is and hearing about all the improvements being made there, I am expecting the forgotten Area of Liscard/Egremont & Wallasey to bear the brunt of the closures lets face it everything else here is going while Birkenhead gets the lions share of anything good. Why not when rebuilding (if that ever happens) Central Parks Liscard Hall put a large Community Centre/Advice Centre/Library/Lesui re/Community Facility there. I hope that the three Conservative Councillors are going to try and opose the cuts in Wallasey but I'm not holding my breath!!! As for a central Library in Birkenhead well thats typical of funding and facilities being leeched away from Wallasey and being given to Birkenhead... What about all us Council Tax payers in Wallasey? What about the children in Wallasey who arent going to be able to travel to Birkenhead to use the Library facilities!! Hath

10:51am Wed 26 Nov 08

Furor Teutonicus says...

xxx rk0001, Oxton says...
8:53am Wed 26 Nov 08
I have lived on Wirral all my life and remember clearly when growing up in the 1970’s there being one gallery (Williamson)...XXX

Obviously not THAT clearly, or you would have remembered the Lady Lever gallery as well.
xxx rk0001, Oxton says... 8:53am Wed 26 Nov 08 I have lived on Wirral all my life and remember clearly when growing up in the 1970’s there being one gallery (Williamson)...XXX Obviously not THAT clearly, or you would have remembered the Lady Lever gallery as well. Furor Teutonicus

10:57am Wed 26 Nov 08

Littlebabynothing says...

"Libraries gave us power/then work came and made us free/what price now/for a shallow piece of dignity?"

We should be encouraging people to educate themselves, and free public libraries play a huge part in this.
"Libraries gave us power/then work came and made us free/what price now/for a shallow piece of dignity?" We should be encouraging people to educate themselves, and free public libraries play a huge part in this. Littlebabynothing

12:38pm Wed 26 Nov 08

GotTheirNumber says...

Once upon a time, this place where we live was branded, no doubt by a bright spark in the council's marketing department, as "the leisure peninsula".

Doesn't feel much like that any more though, does it? Unless you can afford the fees at the Royal Liverpool, anyway - the only thing the council spends a fortune plugging, to the gain of no one but the club itself.

Kids? They're too fat, apparently. But let's take away their pools. Kids? They can't read. But who needs a book for that?

"Guy" Foulkes was quoted elsewhere saying libraries are in competition with Waterstone's. How utterly, utterly ludicrous. Fatuous, even. One is a "free" educational and cultural service. The other is a shop. Perhaps Foulkes should endeavour to find a library and look up the difference in a dictionary.

Foulkes can also be heard bleating about only being a two star council, but is oblivious that that rating has been awarded on his watched. QED, Foulkes - stand aside like the elecorate told you to, but you ignored. Not shut their libraries and close their swimming pools and scrap their museums.

Why has the council got so many in house newsletters? What does a "marketing" department actually, really, honestly do? What is it's worth? More than a library? Or a lollipop lady?

Is there really a town in China - that is that interested and knowledgeable about Wirral it hailed it as "Wirral City" - hedging its future on a tie-up with Wirral? What for? No, really - tell us. Actually tell us. No blather. No rhetoric. No droning on until we go away bored. Just tell us: What's in it for us?

The way this council is run stinks from top to bottom. It's a two star council because of its administration, not because of its citizens, and it is a disgrace that the part-time custodians of our heritage can slash away with it with one hand while wagging their podgy fingers at us with the other.

Those who can, do. Those who can't get a job in Brighton Street. Those who are even more ineffective stand in the council chamber and pretend they're in Westminister.

Welcome to the Capital of Culture Shock.

Once upon a time, this place where we live was branded, no doubt by a bright spark in the council's marketing department, as "the leisure peninsula". Doesn't feel much like that any more though, does it? Unless you can afford the fees at the Royal Liverpool, anyway - the only thing the council spends a fortune plugging, to the gain of no one but the club itself. Kids? They're too fat, apparently. But let's take away their pools. Kids? They can't read. But who needs a book for that? "Guy" Foulkes was quoted elsewhere saying libraries are in competition with Waterstone's. How utterly, utterly ludicrous. Fatuous, even. One is a "free" educational and cultural service. The other is a shop. Perhaps Foulkes should endeavour to find a library and look up the difference in a dictionary. Foulkes can also be heard bleating about only being a two star council, but is oblivious that that rating has been awarded on his watched. QED, Foulkes - stand aside like the elecorate told you to, but you ignored. Not shut their libraries and close their swimming pools and scrap their museums. Why has the council got so many in house newsletters? What does a "marketing" department actually, really, honestly do? What is it's worth? More than a library? Or a lollipop lady? Is there really a town in China - that is that interested and knowledgeable about Wirral it hailed it as "Wirral City" - hedging its future on a tie-up with Wirral? What for? No, really - tell us. Actually tell us. No blather. No rhetoric. No droning on until we go away bored. Just tell us: What's in it for us? The way this council is run stinks from top to bottom. It's a two star council because of its administration, not because of its citizens, and it is a disgrace that the part-time custodians of our heritage can slash away with it with one hand while wagging their podgy fingers at us with the other. Those who can, do. Those who can't get a job in Brighton Street. Those who are even more ineffective stand in the council chamber and pretend they're in Westminister. Welcome to the Capital of Culture Shock. GotTheirNumber

1:11pm Wed 26 Nov 08

liverpoolfc88 says...

I can't believe they want to do this.
I am a student and work part time in libraries and have spoken to many people who see the library as a place to go to chat, and elderly people who cannot manage to go to further ones. I've had people come in before who no longer live in Merseyside and say how they used to come there when they were a child.
It means that I will no longer have work and I don't understand why the council supposedly do this to 'benefit' us when all they're doing is causing trouble for people like myself.
On top of that Guinea Gap Baths is only a short walk from where I live and I have been going there for 19 years since I was a baby, so now I am also faced with the prospect that if I want to go for a 'quick' swim I have to wait for a bus to Birkenhead, then another later on when the bus I get only comes every hour of an evening!! Not only that but what about the children in Seacombe who go the swimming baths and library for something to do?, thats going to be taken away from them and so you're only going to encourage the bad behaviour, amount of ASBOS and teenage pregnancies this country struggles with.
I can't believe they want to do this. I am a student and work part time in libraries and have spoken to many people who see the library as a place to go to chat, and elderly people who cannot manage to go to further ones. I've had people come in before who no longer live in Merseyside and say how they used to come there when they were a child. It means that I will no longer have work and I don't understand why the council supposedly do this to 'benefit' us when all they're doing is causing trouble for people like myself. On top of that Guinea Gap Baths is only a short walk from where I live and I have been going there for 19 years since I was a baby, so now I am also faced with the prospect that if I want to go for a 'quick' swim I have to wait for a bus to Birkenhead, then another later on when the bus I get only comes every hour of an evening!! Not only that but what about the children in Seacombe who go the swimming baths and library for something to do?, thats going to be taken away from them and so you're only going to encourage the bad behaviour, amount of ASBOS and teenage pregnancies this country struggles with. liverpoolfc88

1:47pm Wed 26 Nov 08

edzbird says...

I am sad to see what is happening to the Wirral. This is just more nails in it's coffin. I left last year, and though I used to love it and it WAS a pleasant place to grow...it is no longer.
I am sad to see what is happening to the Wirral. This is just more nails in it's coffin. I left last year, and though I used to love it and it WAS a pleasant place to grow...it is no longer. edzbird

3:35pm Wed 26 Nov 08

Bunjymurray says...

What an absolute disgrace this Council
is. Not only are they going to close the only amenity they fund for Bromborough, no swimming pool, youth clubs etc, but they are doing it with the minimum of notification to the residents. The snivelling cowards are too frightened of the furore this decision will cause,no doubt hoping that a fait accompli will cause them the minimum of harm to themselves. There has been no consultation whatsoever. The first we hear of this proposal is the day before the council meeting in the local papers. No thought at all to the elderly, the local schools, the blood transfusion service and the local groups, all of whom use the Civic Centre. The only thing we can ensure is that the Lib Dems and Labour Councillors are never re elected. I am just one of many many disgruntled voters of Bromborough
What an absolute disgrace this Council is. Not only are they going to close the only amenity they fund for Bromborough, no swimming pool, youth clubs etc, but they are doing it with the minimum of notification to the residents. The snivelling cowards are too frightened of the furore this decision will cause,no doubt hoping that a fait accompli will cause them the minimum of harm to themselves. There has been no consultation whatsoever. The first we hear of this proposal is the day before the council meeting in the local papers. No thought at all to the elderly, the local schools, the blood transfusion service and the local groups, all of whom use the Civic Centre. The only thing we can ensure is that the Lib Dems and Labour Councillors are never re elected. I am just one of many many disgruntled voters of Bromborough Bunjymurray

4:28pm Wed 26 Nov 08

jimbo2008 says...

JR, Oxton
Just to point out that the Buzz Radio office in Pacific Road is the sames office only, and not the radio station.

This has not actually come from Wirral for years since the closure of hte studio nxt door to the Red Cross. This station now actually comes from Wrexham at Marcher Sound studios in Mold Road.

As for the cuts in services, this is a disgrace. It is no help to anyone living here, and certainly not to anyone living nearby the centres that are closing. If I was asked by anyone from outside the area what can Wirral offer, I would say "not a lot", if anything! What on earth are the council doing getting rid of these essential services. As far as libraries are concerned, these are important. Not everyone has access to the internet, a vital tool for today's communication revolution (or so we thought!). As for the Birkenhead Central Library, this is part of the area's heritage and should remain standing. If the council wanted to close this library, why the hell did they spend £200,000 repairing the roof last year. Don't forget - it only reopened in September!

So all in all, in real terms we lost our local radio station, we lost our lollipop ladies, we're losing our day centres aparently, we're losing the local art gallery allegedly, we're losing our libraries, and we're losing two of our swimming pools. What is left? The answer to a question what can Wirral offer - I know the answer - nothing.
JR, Oxton Just to point out that the Buzz Radio office in Pacific Road is the sames office only, and not the radio station. This has not actually come from Wirral for years since the closure of hte studio nxt door to the Red Cross. This station now actually comes from Wrexham at Marcher Sound studios in Mold Road. As for the cuts in services, this is a disgrace. It is no help to anyone living here, and certainly not to anyone living nearby the centres that are closing. If I was asked by anyone from outside the area what can Wirral offer, I would say "not a lot", if anything! What on earth are the council doing getting rid of these essential services. As far as libraries are concerned, these are important. Not everyone has access to the internet, a vital tool for today's communication revolution (or so we thought!). As for the Birkenhead Central Library, this is part of the area's heritage and should remain standing. If the council wanted to close this library, why the hell did they spend £200,000 repairing the roof last year. Don't forget - it only reopened in September! So all in all, in real terms we lost our local radio station, we lost our lollipop ladies, we're losing our day centres aparently, we're losing the local art gallery allegedly, we're losing our libraries, and we're losing two of our swimming pools. What is left? The answer to a question what can Wirral offer - I know the answer - nothing. jimbo2008

4:39pm Wed 26 Nov 08

Merseydiver says...

Clearly the redevelopment of the Guinea Gap site has implications for the baths, the sports hall and the Merseyside Scuba Club that rent their buildings from the council. It may also affect the RNA club, who actually own their property. It is hoped that proper consultation will follow and that the council will find alternative premises for these organisations to continue operating. I'm very concerned!
Clearly the redevelopment of the Guinea Gap site has implications for the baths, the sports hall and the Merseyside Scuba Club that rent their buildings from the council. It may also affect the RNA club, who actually own their property. It is hoped that proper consultation will follow and that the council will find alternative premises for these organisations to continue operating. I'm very concerned! Merseydiver

5:43pm Wed 26 Nov 08

Bertiebadger says...

How many executive type posts are there in this council? How many people are being paid £50,000 or more "working" for the council?

Is there any way a lay person can see what these people are paid, what they do and who they are?

I've seen posts advertised at ridiculous salaries in god knows what departments, responsible for god knows what?

Is it not time for a mass demonstration outside of Brighton street when a full council meeting is in session? No good us all moaning and doing nothing about it.

Time for all Councillors to resign and appoint someone competent to manage the Borough.

Don't think for a minute that the Tories would be any different either. I have had it on good authority that they wouldn't take power simply because they knew this was coming and they would rather the present incompetents took the blame.

No more council houses, no more buses, no more ferries, care homes closed, no longer responsible for providing water, cuts to lollipop services, cuts to library and leisure etc etc etc. JUST WHERE IS OUR COUNCIL TAX GOING THESE DAYS?

How many executive type posts are there in this council? How many people are being paid £50,000 or more "working" for the council? Is there any way a lay person can see what these people are paid, what they do and who they are? I've seen posts advertised at ridiculous salaries in god knows what departments, responsible for god knows what? Is it not time for a mass demonstration outside of Brighton street when a full council meeting is in session? No good us all moaning and doing nothing about it. Time for all Councillors to resign and appoint someone competent to manage the Borough. Don't think for a minute that the Tories would be any different either. I have had it on good authority that they wouldn't take power simply because they knew this was coming and they would rather the present incompetents took the blame. No more council houses, no more buses, no more ferries, care homes closed, no longer responsible for providing water, cuts to lollipop services, cuts to library and leisure etc etc etc. JUST WHERE IS OUR COUNCIL TAX GOING THESE DAYS? Bertiebadger

5:56pm Wed 26 Nov 08

Hath says...

FYI Liscard is run by 3 Conservative Councillors...

You can check who your local Councillors are at...
http://www.wirral.go
v.uk/members/search.
aspare by going to..
FYI Liscard is run by 3 Conservative Councillors... You can check who your local Councillors are at... http://www.wirral.go v.uk/members/search. aspare by going to.. Hath

6:29pm Wed 26 Nov 08

piggymalone says...

It is apparent that the electorate are furious with this latest revelation from Wirral Council. Democracy has gone out of the window with majority bed partners and I suppose one could blame the gutless Liberal Democrats (Democrats, thats a joke in itself) but then again, as bertie badger has pointed out, the political parties are all the same.... more interested in towing the party line instead of conveying the wishes of the electorate. Its time for a radical change in local politics. As I see it there are 2 possible alternatives both of which have ben mentioned in previous comments.
1. We could petition to elect a mayor
2. We could join the Residents Alliance and support their idea of only voting for independent councillors who have no party political aspirations.
Could I suggest that if anyone is interested in any of the above ideas or indeed has any good ideas of their own that they contact Glen at the Residents Alliance by e.mailing mail@residents-allia
nce.org
It is apparent that the electorate are furious with this latest revelation from Wirral Council. Democracy has gone out of the window with majority bed partners and I suppose one could blame the gutless Liberal Democrats (Democrats, thats a joke in itself) but then again, as bertie badger has pointed out, the political parties are all the same.... more interested in towing the party line instead of conveying the wishes of the electorate. Its time for a radical change in local politics. As I see it there are 2 possible alternatives both of which have ben mentioned in previous comments. 1. We could petition to elect a mayor 2. We could join the Residents Alliance and support their idea of only voting for independent councillors who have no party political aspirations. Could I suggest that if anyone is interested in any of the above ideas or indeed has any good ideas of their own that they contact Glen at the Residents Alliance by e.mailing mail@residents-allia nce.org piggymalone

6:55pm Wed 26 Nov 08

steady cyclist says...

Energy saving MY ARSE, why not switch all the floodlights off on council buildings, why do they need to be lit up at night, and when are the lights at clatterbridge going to be switched on again,
as for saving why not recycle all the hot air council staff spout,
Energy saving MY ARSE, why not switch all the floodlights off on council buildings, why do they need to be lit up at night, and when are the lights at clatterbridge going to be switched on again, as for saving why not recycle all the hot air council staff spout, steady cyclist

7:02pm Wed 26 Nov 08

statictom says...

The council in their report go on about our energy inefficient buildings, and the need for change. Have you every driven past Cheshire Lines or Westminster House at night - its like the illuminations - talk about waste of energy.
These cuts will be the tip of one huge iceberg. Council Transport - out to tender, Adult Day Services/Care - out to tender. Pretty soon we will not need to pay Council Tax - as there will be no services left.
The council in their report go on about our energy inefficient buildings, and the need for change. Have you every driven past Cheshire Lines or Westminster House at night - its like the illuminations - talk about waste of energy. These cuts will be the tip of one huge iceberg. Council Transport - out to tender, Adult Day Services/Care - out to tender. Pretty soon we will not need to pay Council Tax - as there will be no services left. statictom

8:02pm Wed 26 Nov 08

Bertiebadger says...

I wish some people would try to see the difference between Councillors, i.e. elected politicians and Council Officers i.e. those who are paid a (massive) salary such as the Chief executive and his cronies. I know who the Councillors are and can look up their expenses any time. I want to know if I can do the same with the salaried staff etc?

I have just read part of the report and have come to realise something. A new centre in the area of Europa pools will mean more people will have to pay parking charges. If you look at the proposed other smaller centres, they are all in places difficult to park in unless you use pay and display. Who said this Council were stupid?

Well me for one because I won't use them and I am a regular at the current time.
I wish some people would try to see the difference between Councillors, i.e. elected politicians and Council Officers i.e. those who are paid a (massive) salary such as the Chief executive and his cronies. I know who the Councillors are and can look up their expenses any time. I want to know if I can do the same with the salaried staff etc? I have just read part of the report and have come to realise something. A new centre in the area of Europa pools will mean more people will have to pay parking charges. If you look at the proposed other smaller centres, they are all in places difficult to park in unless you use pay and display. Who said this Council were stupid? Well me for one because I won't use them and I am a regular at the current time. Bertiebadger

8:17pm Wed 26 Nov 08

ginger26 says...

save money get rid of steve folkes nd his cronnies , who REALY BLEED WIRRAL DRY WITH FREEBEE TRIPS TO CHINA ect . sit back and do nothing and lose all services from day care and disability centres to the libraries ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,hey steve save money close the schools small minded toss pot
save money get rid of steve folkes nd his cronnies , who REALY BLEED WIRRAL DRY WITH FREEBEE TRIPS TO CHINA ect . sit back and do nothing and lose all services from day care and disability centres to the libraries ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,hey steve save money close the schools small minded toss pot ginger26

8:29pm Wed 26 Nov 08

new brighton belle says...

I am absolutely disgusted at the council's plans to close so many libraries and leisure centres. These are important parts of the community and combining existing libraries etc into fewer buildings means people will just have to travel further and further to reach them. Earlier this year I moved back to the Wirral after 5 years in Liverpool and despite constantly hearing that Liverpool has some of the poorest districts in Europe, they still manage to not only keep their libraries open, but constantly renovate and update them. Where exactly does Wirral council spend my council tax? Looking at the council website, a lot of it seems to go towards providing housing and services for people who can't be bothered to get a job. Of course I have no problem with people who are in genuine need of assistance receiving support but I am so sick of struggling to pay my bills and £100 council tax each month knowing that I am subsidising people who have chosen to never have done a day's work in their lives while hard working people get less and less from the council.
I am absolutely disgusted at the council's plans to close so many libraries and leisure centres. These are important parts of the community and combining existing libraries etc into fewer buildings means people will just have to travel further and further to reach them. Earlier this year I moved back to the Wirral after 5 years in Liverpool and despite constantly hearing that Liverpool has some of the poorest districts in Europe, they still manage to not only keep their libraries open, but constantly renovate and update them. Where exactly does Wirral council spend my council tax? Looking at the council website, a lot of it seems to go towards providing housing and services for people who can't be bothered to get a job. Of course I have no problem with people who are in genuine need of assistance receiving support but I am so sick of struggling to pay my bills and £100 council tax each month knowing that I am subsidising people who have chosen to never have done a day's work in their lives while hard working people get less and less from the council. new brighton belle

10:52pm Wed 26 Nov 08

CHANT says...

It would be interesting to see how much the Council has spent on overseas junkets sorry fact finding tours this year.Also the swimmimg facilities are invaluable as the area we live in is surrounded by water if our councillors where not aware of that fact, if teaching children to swim properly saves just one life what price do you put on that will any councillor answer that now or in court in future.
It would be interesting to see how much the Council has spent on overseas junkets sorry fact finding tours this year.Also the swimmimg facilities are invaluable as the area we live in is surrounded by water if our councillors where not aware of that fact, if teaching children to swim properly saves just one life what price do you put on that will any councillor answer that now or in court in future. CHANT

11:48pm Wed 26 Nov 08

wirralP says...

This is typical of Labour/liberal they where never elected to run the council and yet they will be deciding on the future of our buildings and amenities and yet our poll tax goes up isnt it enough that they have cut funding to Social services whats next on there shopping list do away with Christmas nothing for the youths so there will be more crime on the wirral I for one will never ever VOTE for labour again is this the end of Wirral as we know it YES IT IS its time to vote them out and to keep them out
This is typical of Labour/liberal they where never elected to run the council and yet they will be deciding on the future of our buildings and amenities and yet our poll tax goes up isnt it enough that they have cut funding to Social services whats next on there shopping list do away with Christmas nothing for the youths so there will be more crime on the wirral I for one will never ever VOTE for labour again is this the end of Wirral as we know it YES IT IS its time to vote them out and to keep them out wirralP

12:25am Thu 27 Nov 08

AndyUpton says...

This news is absolutely disgusting.
Along with countless other people, my club (Wirral Shotokan Karate Club) has used the Woodchurch Leisure Centre for many years, and to discover this devastating news is terrible.
Where is everybody who use the Leisure Centre supposed to go ?
This news is absolutely disgusting. Along with countless other people, my club (Wirral Shotokan Karate Club) has used the Woodchurch Leisure Centre for many years, and to discover this devastating news is terrible. Where is everybody who use the Leisure Centre supposed to go ? AndyUpton

1:45am Thu 27 Nov 08

Elliott says...

Here's one for everyone to read:

"Farenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury.

If the council ever gets round to destroying all of those texts, then we'll know what kind of company it would like to keep!
Here's one for everyone to read: "Farenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury. If the council ever gets round to destroying all of those texts, then we'll know what kind of company it would like to keep! Elliott

5:04am Thu 27 Nov 08

Dave J1608 says...

We should not be surprised at the latest news from the Foulkes seat of power. Foulkes clearly does not have any concern about the families he supposedly represents. However, the biggest culprit will turn out to be is his obedient poodle in the Liberal ranks - well done that man.
We should not be surprised at the latest news from the Foulkes seat of power. Foulkes clearly does not have any concern about the families he supposedly represents. However, the biggest culprit will turn out to be is his obedient poodle in the Liberal ranks - well done that man. Dave J1608

8:49am Thu 27 Nov 08

emma85 says...

I cannot believe that they can do this! Do these people ever spare a thought for the people these "great ideas" affect?! It seems to me they only ever consider money.
I'm a member of the Panto group that uses the Woodchurch leisure centre - where are we supposed to go? It's such a fantastic place, has excellent staff and provides a real focus point for the local community! How they can even consider closing it baffles me.
It seems to me that every week the council are closing something else - Park High School, Rock Ferry school, Council workshops, Libraries and recreation centres. All the hard work people do to try and make the Wirral a better place to live is undone by the council. Yet every month we have to struggle to pay our council tax - for what I ask!!!!
I wish these people had to face the people that their decisions affect.
I cannot believe that they can do this! Do these people ever spare a thought for the people these "great ideas" affect?! It seems to me they only ever consider money. I'm a member of the Panto group that uses the Woodchurch leisure centre - where are we supposed to go? It's such a fantastic place, has excellent staff and provides a real focus point for the local community! How they can even consider closing it baffles me. It seems to me that every week the council are closing something else - Park High School, Rock Ferry school, Council workshops, Libraries and recreation centres. All the hard work people do to try and make the Wirral a better place to live is undone by the council. Yet every month we have to struggle to pay our council tax - for what I ask!!!! I wish these people had to face the people that their decisions affect. emma85

9:54am Thu 27 Nov 08

statictom says...

Well done to the Wirral Globe for publishing these stories. At least your message will get out to all Wirral residents, unlike the actions of our so called council staff who seem to work behind closed doors most of the time. This council seem to have the habit of announcing cuts after the decisions have already been made.
With cuts in leasure services - just watch the rise in youth disorder in those areas effected.
Well done to the Wirral Globe for publishing these stories. At least your message will get out to all Wirral residents, unlike the actions of our so called council staff who seem to work behind closed doors most of the time. This council seem to have the habit of announcing cuts after the decisions have already been made. With cuts in leasure services - just watch the rise in youth disorder in those areas effected. statictom

1:09pm Thu 27 Nov 08

glenn, moreton says...

To all the people who will be affected by these closures by the council: the reason why your services are being cut is because the council have lost your council tax money and now have no other option but to close down essential services. They know that if they don't do this they will have no alternative but to declare the council bankrupt. People of wirral, the council tax money that you've worked so hard for has been LOST.
If you want to know who is responsible it is your local councillor, regardless of their party, they are all complicit in the incompetent decisions which have led to this state of affairs. Instead of admitting what they've done they use deceit in order to try and deflect the blame from themselves and onto each other, or blame unelected council officers. It is the councillors who have been elected to be accountable in good times and bad. Don't let them hide from the absolute shambles they've created.
To all the people who will be affected by these closures by the council: the reason why your services are being cut is because the council have lost your council tax money and now have no other option but to close down essential services. They know that if they don't do this they will have no alternative but to declare the council bankrupt. People of wirral, the council tax money that you've worked so hard for has been LOST. If you want to know who is responsible it is your local councillor, regardless of their party, they are all complicit in the incompetent decisions which have led to this state of affairs. Instead of admitting what they've done they use deceit in order to try and deflect the blame from themselves and onto each other, or blame unelected council officers. It is the councillors who have been elected to be accountable in good times and bad. Don't let them hide from the absolute shambles they've created. glenn, moreton

1:31pm Thu 27 Nov 08

boadicea2 says...

What are we paying council tax for? if so many libraries, buildings, swimming pools, sports centres, community halls are being hived off if anyone is wondering I suggest you log on to the wirral council Internet pages and look at the job vacancies, cleaners - £5 or £6 per hour, Strategic Officers, Diversity Officers - shedloads of money - that's were the savings are. Some of these maybe in response to directives from government - need I say more? What about green issues, 2 or 3 libraries mean lots of older people will not be able to access libraries, these are vibrant, social places, essential for the physical and mental health of all us in Wirral. There is no sound basis for this decision, we are told we must exercise - where? we are told we should read more - where? we are told we should involve ourselves in the community - where? Marvellous decision, do councillors not know that this is THE NATIONAL YEAR OF READING. I truly despair, if this shabby decision goes ahead it should be well reflected in council tax, Not no rise BUT a clear reduction. Shame on you councillers
What are we paying council tax for? if so many libraries, buildings, swimming pools, sports centres, community halls are being hived off if anyone is wondering I suggest you log on to the wirral council Internet pages and look at the job vacancies, cleaners - £5 or £6 per hour, Strategic Officers, Diversity Officers - shedloads of money - that's were the savings are. Some of these maybe in response to directives from government - need I say more? What about green issues, 2 or 3 libraries mean lots of older people will not be able to access libraries, these are vibrant, social places, essential for the physical and mental health of all us in Wirral. There is no sound basis for this decision, we are told we must exercise - where? we are told we should read more - where? we are told we should involve ourselves in the community - where? Marvellous decision, do councillors not know that this is THE NATIONAL YEAR OF READING. I truly despair, if this shabby decision goes ahead it should be well reflected in council tax, Not no rise BUT a clear reduction. Shame on you councillers boadicea2

1:37pm Thu 27 Nov 08

boadicea2 says...

Sorry - saw this bit "A further twenty council properties including the former Birkenhead town hall in Hamilton Square, Leasowe Recreation Centre and a string of council-funded community centres and village halls across the borough also face being transferred to “community management” - where staff and funding are withdrawn to be replaced with volunteers and fundraiser" Volunteers are precisely that, they choose where they like to give time and money - not unpaid workers directed by the council after paid workers get dismissed. You are telling the public to give their own taxed money, in the form of fund raising,to pay your obligations which we are paying through council tax - the cheek of it takes my breath away. It seems to be the labour way, get neighbour to report neighbour, get kids to speed trap, get the WI to track prostitution, all jobs to be done by council/police employees, quite sickening, again shame on you

Sorry - saw this bit "A further twenty council properties including the former Birkenhead town hall in Hamilton Square, Leasowe Recreation Centre and a string of council-funded community centres and village halls across the borough also face being transferred to “community management” - where staff and funding are withdrawn to be replaced with volunteers and fundraiser" Volunteers are precisely that, they choose where they like to give time and money - not unpaid workers directed by the council after paid workers get dismissed. You are telling the public to give their own taxed money, in the form of fund raising,to pay your obligations which we are paying through council tax - the cheek of it takes my breath away. It seems to be the labour way, get neighbour to report neighbour, get kids to speed trap, get the WI to track prostitution, all jobs to be done by council/police employees, quite sickening, again shame on you boadicea2

5:23pm Thu 27 Nov 08

Parsopa1 says...

This is outrageous. There is no way these proposals will get passed. The backlash to this will be unprecedented. It all smacks of complete imcompetence and of a total lack of vision or ambition to put things right.
This is outrageous. There is no way these proposals will get passed. The backlash to this will be unprecedented. It all smacks of complete imcompetence and of a total lack of vision or ambition to put things right. Parsopa1

10:17pm Thu 27 Nov 08

Casey Jones 01 says...

BertieBadger - Here you go - buried in a reprot to the Council Cabinet October 16;

7. OFFICERS' EMOLUMENTS

The number of employees whose remuneration, excluding pension contributions, was

£50,000 or more in bands of £10,000 was:-

Remuneration Band Number of Employees

2006-07 2007-08

£50,000 - £59,999 133 161

£60,000 - £69,999 31 35

£70,000 - £79,999 20 20

£80,000 - £89,999 7 12

£90,000 - £99,999 1 4

£100,000 - £109,999 5 2

£110,000 - £119,999 1 3

£120,000 - £129,999 0 1

£130,000 - £139,999 1 1

appologys if the formatting doesn't work out right.
BertieBadger - Here you go - buried in a reprot to the Council Cabinet October 16; 7. OFFICERS' EMOLUMENTS The number of employees whose remuneration, excluding pension contributions, was £50,000 or more in bands of £10,000 was:- Remuneration Band Number of Employees 2006-07 2007-08 £50,000 - £59,999 133 161 £60,000 - £69,999 31 35 £70,000 - £79,999 20 20 £80,000 - £89,999 7 12 £90,000 - £99,999 1 4 £100,000 - £109,999 5 2 £110,000 - £119,999 1 3 £120,000 - £129,999 0 1 £130,000 - £139,999 1 1 appologys if the formatting doesn't work out right. Casey Jones 01

10:19am Fri 28 Nov 08

martin astill says...

I am appalled by the suggestion of axeing the libraries. These ar a lifeline to many elderly people who are housebound. If the libraries are axed in Bromborough, Bebington and Rock Ferry there will be many who will find that they bare unable to get any books at all. One would think that Britain was a poor country.
I am appalled by the suggestion of axeing the libraries. These ar a lifeline to many elderly people who are housebound. If the libraries are axed in Bromborough, Bebington and Rock Ferry there will be many who will find that they bare unable to get any books at all. One would think that Britain was a poor country. martin astill

10:46am Fri 28 Nov 08

Dantealighieri says...

Why should anyone be surprised by this. Wirral is just a microcosm for the rest of the country. Call Wirral Britain, call the Town Hall Westminster, call Labour councilors Labour MPs, then call them all bankrupt. The only difference between Wirral and the national picture are the Libdems, but come a General Election and a hung Parliament even that exception would disappear. What I can't understand, if this cost cutting exercise is to save £3.7 million, because basically the councils is a busted flush, where are the council going to get the £20 million to spend over the next 4 years. Surely if that sort of money is available, it should be spent on keeping the facilities open that are about to be closed, which after all is what the public appear to want, but as usual, who gives a toss about them.
Why should anyone be surprised by this. Wirral is just a microcosm for the rest of the country. Call Wirral Britain, call the Town Hall Westminster, call Labour councilors Labour MPs, then call them all bankrupt. The only difference between Wirral and the national picture are the Libdems, but come a General Election and a hung Parliament even that exception would disappear. What I can't understand, if this cost cutting exercise is to save £3.7 million, because basically the councils is a busted flush, where are the council going to get the £20 million to spend over the next 4 years. Surely if that sort of money is available, it should be spent on keeping the facilities open that are about to be closed, which after all is what the public appear to want, but as usual, who gives a toss about them. Dantealighieri

11:23am Fri 28 Nov 08

GotTheirNumber says...

At the cabinet meeting last night, Foulkes criticised the press for saying Birkenhead Central Library would close because the library - as in the books - would be moving to the new multi purpose centre in Europa Pools.

He said another use would be found for the building.

I don't understand this. The whole point of moving out of the building is because it's too costly to repair and maintain. So how come, now Foulkes is getting some heat, it IS now capable of carrying on, just not as a library?

Does he really think we're all that stupid?
At the cabinet meeting last night, Foulkes criticised the press for saying Birkenhead Central Library would close because the library - as in the books - would be moving to the new multi purpose centre in Europa Pools. He said another use would be found for the building. I don't understand this. The whole point of moving out of the building is because it's too costly to repair and maintain. So how come, now Foulkes is getting some heat, it IS now capable of carrying on, just not as a library? Does he really think we're all that stupid? GotTheirNumber

1:49pm Fri 28 Nov 08

JackeyB says...

Wirral was once a place of which we could be proud. Now the Council has made the name synonymous with corruption, self-preservation and cover-ups.

We have a bankrupt Council, both financially and morally. Each member of it should be ashamed of themselves, some for creating this mess, the others for standing by over the past years and doing nothing to prevent it.

They are despicable.
Wirral was once a place of which we could be proud. Now the Council has made the name synonymous with corruption, self-preservation and cover-ups. We have a bankrupt Council, both financially and morally. Each member of it should be ashamed of themselves, some for creating this mess, the others for standing by over the past years and doing nothing to prevent it. They are despicable. JackeyB

7:08pm Fri 28 Nov 08

Christopher says...

This Council is doing to Birkenhead what the Germans never done in the Second World War, Lay flat the buildings of Culture and Learning, Built to Prosper the People of Birkenhead Town and Secure their future knowledge in the hope that they would learn themselves and take the Overdue Books back.
This Council is doing to Birkenhead what the Germans never done in the Second World War, Lay flat the buildings of Culture and Learning, Built to Prosper the People of Birkenhead Town and Secure their future knowledge in the hope that they would learn themselves and take the Overdue Books back. Christopher

7:31pm Fri 28 Nov 08

raymond38 says...

FFFoulkes said the migration of people from wirral was because they where well trained, so consider this, no libraries equals no centres for extra learning this in turn equals an untrained Wirral population so we all stay at home and pay vastly increased community charges. Steve take your mates and do a runner now while you still can.
As for lib-dem hem-hangers you are a disgrace to all the wonderfull Liberals that came before you, if you can't stand on your own two feet.... fall over.
FFFoulkes said the migration of people from wirral was because they where well trained, so consider this, no libraries equals no centres for extra learning this in turn equals an untrained Wirral population so we all stay at home and pay vastly increased community charges. Steve take your mates and do a runner now while you still can. As for lib-dem hem-hangers you are a disgrace to all the wonderfull Liberals that came before you, if you can't stand on your own two feet.... fall over. raymond38

8:05pm Fri 28 Nov 08

ghawkins says...

So we can afford to find thousands of pounds for Mr Foulkes' "fact-finding trip" to China, we can afford a few thousand for the ruling political parties to have a knees-up and the council can afford to lose hundreds of thousands of pounds in dodgy icelandic banks, yet they can't afford to keep a few libraries or swimming baths open?

"Change is never easy" says Mr Foulkes... well what would they know about "change" given that they ignored the overwhelming calls for change in the May election?

It is time for Mr Foulkes to step down and Cllr Holbrook should follow.
So we can afford to find thousands of pounds for Mr Foulkes' "fact-finding trip" to China, we can afford a few thousand for the ruling political parties to have a knees-up and the council can afford to lose hundreds of thousands of pounds in dodgy icelandic banks, yet they can't afford to keep a few libraries or swimming baths open? "Change is never easy" says Mr Foulkes... well what would they know about "change" given that they ignored the overwhelming calls for change in the May election? It is time for Mr Foulkes to step down and Cllr Holbrook should follow. ghawkins

9:14pm Fri 28 Nov 08

glenn, moreton says...

They CAN'T afford to lose that money in icelandic banks. That's why they're axing all these services.
They CAN'T afford to lose that money in icelandic banks. That's why they're axing all these services. glenn, moreton

10:31pm Fri 28 Nov 08

Elliott says...

"Change is never easy"

Mr. Foulkes, you'd better learn to make it easy, before we put you in charge of our millions, again! Look after the pennies...
"Change is never easy" Mr. Foulkes, you'd better learn to make it easy, before we put you in charge of our millions, again! Look after the pennies... Elliott

11:19pm Fri 28 Nov 08

librarystaff says...

I've worked for Wirral Libraries for over 20 years and am just not at all surprised at their latest idea! Having experience of the ridiculous council decisions made over the past years nothing surprises me anymore.
However, although this decision has not surprised me, it has made me seriously wonder about the morals of the councillors who support these proposals.
They seem to have completely disregarded the fact that libraries play a huge part in local resident's lives. How they expect the elderly and disabled to travel halfway across Wirral to visit a library is beyond me, but it appears that they just don't care.
Most (if not all) councillors have their own transport, their own computers at home, and of course, their generous allowances to pay for such things. It's an entirely different story for many Wirral residents, how are less fortunate children supposed to access IT facilities if their local library closes? This decision will inevitably lead to children hanging around the streets as they'll have nowhere else to go, and we all know where that will lead.
Many elderly people visit their local library not just to choose books but also as a social event. They can have a cup of tea or coffee, meet friends, sit comfortably, chat and most importantly for some of the less fortunate ones, be somewhere warm and safe.
Of course, if the councillors cared about any of this they wouldn't be taking this decision anyway, so basically we're all going to Hell in a handcart!
We could ensure that these heartless councillors are voted out at the next election, but of course, they choose to do this at a time when there is NO election in sight........I can't imagine why!





I've worked for Wirral Libraries for over 20 years and am just not at all surprised at their latest idea! Having experience of the ridiculous council decisions made over the past years nothing surprises me anymore. However, although this decision has not surprised me, it has made me seriously wonder about the morals of the councillors who support these proposals. They seem to have completely disregarded the fact that libraries play a huge part in local resident's lives. How they expect the elderly and disabled to travel halfway across Wirral to visit a library is beyond me, but it appears that they just don't care. Most (if not all) councillors have their own transport, their own computers at home, and of course, their generous allowances to pay for such things. It's an entirely different story for many Wirral residents, how are less fortunate children supposed to access IT facilities if their local library closes? This decision will inevitably lead to children hanging around the streets as they'll have nowhere else to go, and we all know where that will lead. Many elderly people visit their local library not just to choose books but also as a social event. They can have a cup of tea or coffee, meet friends, sit comfortably, chat and most importantly for some of the less fortunate ones, be somewhere warm and safe. Of course, if the councillors cared about any of this they wouldn't be taking this decision anyway, so basically we're all going to Hell in a handcart! We could ensure that these heartless councillors are voted out at the next election, but of course, they choose to do this at a time when there is NO election in sight........I can't imagine why! librarystaff

9:58am Sat 29 Nov 08

Cotty-BHEAD says...

If we get rid of the libraries,where will all the shaven headed,track suited,hooded drug endused,alcohol fuelled go to read 'cos they didn't bother with school,just like their parents and their parents before them?Oh no,it will give them more time on their hands for getting money illegally just prior to getting their benefit for not being able to put a sentence together.Except in Walton.
Anyway just think,Central Library closing would be beneficial for the local dwellers of the area,it could be snapped up and a BIG gold dome put on the top whilst the council is asleep.And the money used for pay offs,or buying a bulldozer.
If we get rid of the libraries,where will all the shaven headed,track suited,hooded drug endused,alcohol fuelled go to read 'cos they didn't bother with school,just like their parents and their parents before them?Oh no,it will give them more time on their hands for getting money illegally just prior to getting their benefit for not being able to put a sentence together.Except in Walton. Anyway just think,Central Library closing would be beneficial for the local dwellers of the area,it could be snapped up and a BIG gold dome put on the top whilst the council is asleep.And the money used for pay offs,or buying a bulldozer. Cotty-BHEAD

9:36pm Sat 29 Nov 08

scouseexile says...

Will the Council, in order not to disenfranchise those who will need public transport to access the new facilitiies, offer FREE passes to all those on benefit or low income and who use the libraries for job searching / applications via the internet? If not, then how are these needy groups to get there?

As someone whose work has taken me around many of the branches on Wirral, then I know from first hand experience just how much a part of the differnet local communities the libraries are,in many cases over several generations. Putting aside for a moment the crass and heartless manner in which staff found out about this *** before *** Christmas, what are the local communities to feel about the services on which they have come to depend being annihilated?

Do the suits who wrote this report seriously believe that an elderly person who presently can walk to a library in the daytime will take say a two bus journey in the middle of winter to a new centre where they do not know the staff or feel comfortable? Then have to wait at two stops in the cold and the rain instead of being able to walk home again in minutes? Can they believe that young mothers who take their children to reading groups or toy libraries will relish or be able to spend the extra time or money going out of their way to educate their children (and in many cases themselves too)?

The suits clearly have no idea as to the added value which branches bring to their local communities and which cannot be measured simply in financial terms.

So, if branches and leisure centres are closed, what percentage of our council tax will we get back in rebate for services which are no longer being provided?
Will the Council, in order not to disenfranchise those who will need public transport to access the new facilitiies, offer FREE passes to all those on benefit or low income and who use the libraries for job searching / applications via the internet? If not, then how are these needy groups to get there? As someone whose work has taken me around many of the branches on Wirral, then I know from first hand experience just how much a part of the differnet local communities the libraries are,in many cases over several generations. Putting aside for a moment the crass and heartless manner in which staff found out about this *** before *** Christmas, what are the local communities to feel about the services on which they have come to depend being annihilated? Do the suits who wrote this report seriously believe that an elderly person who presently can walk to a library in the daytime will take say a two bus journey in the middle of winter to a new centre where they do not know the staff or feel comfortable? Then have to wait at two stops in the cold and the rain instead of being able to walk home again in minutes? Can they believe that young mothers who take their children to reading groups or toy libraries will relish or be able to spend the extra time or money going out of their way to educate their children (and in many cases themselves too)? The suits clearly have no idea as to the added value which branches bring to their local communities and which cannot be measured simply in financial terms. So, if branches and leisure centres are closed, what percentage of our council tax will we get back in rebate for services which are no longer being provided? scouseexile

2:42pm Sun 30 Nov 08

COUNCILRIP says...

It is a 40 minute walk from Seacombe to Earlston. This is enough to discourage the youth from visiting the library if it is closed in the area. Transport does not get close enough for the elderly. Where will the Seacombe youths go now? They will just congregate in Liscard increasing the number there at present. You cannot even put up a petition in favour of keeping the libraries open in the library due to the fact that it is Council property and they are the ones who want to shut it! The multi-purpose complex sounds like an expensive idea. Can the Council afford two? One for Birkenhead and one for Wallasey? The library is essential in our children's education. They learn to read and gather information from them. Not every family has a computer but the libraries do. The Council is going to reduce Wirral to an ignorant and illiterate peninsula. What have the Councillors to say to that? Further to the libraries question is why did the Council spend money on improving Guinea Gap baths and Pacific Road Theatre only to close them down. The Pacific Road Theatre is a marvellous site for musical concerts such as the Guitar Festival. It has a unique atmosphere which I don't think the Floral Pavilion could achieve. Some bands are not suited to the larger venues.

Future generations of people from Wallasey and Birkenhead will be left without exercise, education and entertainment.

If the Council doesn't make a U-turn on its' ridiculous cuts it is going to be WIRRAL RIP!
It is a 40 minute walk from Seacombe to Earlston. This is enough to discourage the youth from visiting the library if it is closed in the area. Transport does not get close enough for the elderly. Where will the Seacombe youths go now? They will just congregate in Liscard increasing the number there at present. You cannot even put up a petition in favour of keeping the libraries open in the library due to the fact that it is Council property and they are the ones who want to shut it! The multi-purpose complex sounds like an expensive idea. Can the Council afford two? One for Birkenhead and one for Wallasey? The library is essential in our children's education. They learn to read and gather information from them. Not every family has a computer but the libraries do. The Council is going to reduce Wirral to an ignorant and illiterate peninsula. What have the Councillors to say to that? Further to the libraries question is why did the Council spend money on improving Guinea Gap baths and Pacific Road Theatre only to close them down. The Pacific Road Theatre is a marvellous site for musical concerts such as the Guitar Festival. It has a unique atmosphere which I don't think the Floral Pavilion could achieve. Some bands are not suited to the larger venues. Future generations of people from Wallasey and Birkenhead will be left without exercise, education and entertainment. If the Council doesn't make a U-turn on its' ridiculous cuts it is going to be WIRRAL RIP! COUNCILRIP

10:28am Tue 2 Dec 08

retriever1164 says...

I am appalled at Wirral Borough Council's proposal for the closure of many of the Borough's public libraries. I spent the first 30 years of my life on the Wirral and gained immense support from the library service here, during all my educational endeavours. I currently work in the library and information sector and have seen the results of people becoming empowered by using these valuable resources. The local council appears to be out of touch with the national perspective on libraries. Confirmed by current government initiatives, placing an emphasis on the importance of public libraries to roll out new key learning and training initiatives. Their position can be identified in the publication “The Little Book of Public Libraries”. Published by the Museums, Libraries and Archives council in 2005 the following quotes from the publication clarify this:

•Public libraries and communities
“Public libraries are as much hubs of the community as churches, pubs and post offices”.
•Public libraries and the economy
“Public libraries help create a vibrant local economy”

Hopefully the council will rethink this heinous proposal and consider the consequences of their actions if these valuable resources are removed from the community!
I am appalled at Wirral Borough Council's proposal for the closure of many of the Borough's public libraries. I spent the first 30 years of my life on the Wirral and gained immense support from the library service here, during all my educational endeavours. I currently work in the library and information sector and have seen the results of people becoming empowered by using these valuable resources. The local council appears to be out of touch with the national perspective on libraries. Confirmed by current government initiatives, placing an emphasis on the importance of public libraries to roll out new key learning and training initiatives. Their position can be identified in the publication “The Little Book of Public Libraries”. Published by the Museums, Libraries and Archives council in 2005 the following quotes from the publication clarify this: •Public libraries and communities “Public libraries are as much hubs of the community as churches, pubs and post offices”. •Public libraries and the economy “Public libraries help create a vibrant local economy” Hopefully the council will rethink this heinous proposal and consider the consequences of their actions if these valuable resources are removed from the community! retriever1164

11:30am Thu 4 Dec 08

Walthamster says...

This is dereliction of duty on a grand scale. The council has pretty much given up being a council, so why are the councillors still accepting their allowances? In fact, since all decisions are made by a cabinet, why pay the other councillors anyway?

We've had a smaller version of this in Waltham Forest, where I live. But we still spend over a million pounds a year on councillors' allowances and even more on top council officers. (That's not counting all the low-paid employees and contracted-out people who do all the work.)

I once thought only Tories could destroy public services like this. But in Waltham Forest as in Wirral, it's a Labour council propped up by fawning Lib Dems.
This is dereliction of duty on a grand scale. The council has pretty much given up being a council, so why are the councillors still accepting their allowances? In fact, since all decisions are made by a cabinet, why pay the other councillors anyway? We've had a smaller version of this in Waltham Forest, where I live. But we still spend over a million pounds a year on councillors' allowances and even more on top council officers. (That's not counting all the low-paid employees and contracted-out people who do all the work.) I once thought only Tories could destroy public services like this. But in Waltham Forest as in Wirral, it's a Labour council propped up by fawning Lib Dems. Walthamster

11:41am Thu 4 Dec 08

Walthamster says...

PS Don't expect too much from the consultation. Waltham Forest has won stars from the Audit Commission for the number and expense of its consultations!

That means loads of money for consultants, lots of glossy documents, and heavily loaded questions to try to get the answers that suit the council. They still sometimes come up with the "wrong" answers, clearly stated by a large majority of residents. But if the results can't be massaged into what the council wants, it just ignores them and does what it had always intended.
PS Don't expect too much from the consultation. Waltham Forest has won stars from the Audit Commission for the number and expense of its consultations! That means loads of money for consultants, lots of glossy documents, and heavily loaded questions to try to get the answers that suit the council. They still sometimes come up with the "wrong" answers, clearly stated by a large majority of residents. But if the results can't be massaged into what the council wants, it just ignores them and does what it had always intended. Walthamster
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