WIRRAL South MP Ben Chapman has greeted the council’s plans to axe libraries, museums and a theatre with “much regret”.

Mr Chapman said he was particularly concerned about the loss of services to constituents.

And he condemned the decision to close down Eastham library - which hadn’t been originally earmarked for closure - and possibly transfer it into the hands of community management as something that has “not been sufficiently thought through”.

“While these decisions are a matter for the council and councillors, and not the MP, I am obviously concerned for my constituents, the staff involved and about the loss and quality of services,” he said.

“Overall, I very much regret that we have found ourselves in this position and that decisions have been taken so quickly.

“The decisions seem even harder to justify given that Wirral has had above inflation increases in support from central government each year since 1997.”

Mr Chapman added: “I do, of course, welcome the concessions and in particular the news that the Bromborough facilities are to remain. The people of Bromborough will be delighted.

“These facilities are the heart of the community, are well loved and are used for a multiplicity of purposes.”

Eastham’s library facilities will now be merged into Bromborough library, which will form part of one of the council’s five new multi-purpose complexes around the borough.

“Whilst in principle I welcome the new multi purpose complexes, the decision on the other hand to now put Eastham library down for community control is wrong in both form and substance,” said Mr Chapman.

“The concept of community transfer has not been sufficiently thought through either here or at all the other vitally important sites involved in Wirral South and it will give rise to widespread concern about the future of these facilities.

“But since Eastham was not previously on the list, the people there have not been given any chance to respond to the consultation and make their views known. This is simply not fair.

“Eastham is a place already under the twin threat of planning proposals from Agri Energy and Biossence which they see an unwelcome intrusion into the local community.

“On top of this they are threatened with the closure of Carlett Park. The possible loss of a loved library facility would leave the community without any significant facilities.

“In addition the people of Eastham, as with the rest of Wirral South, see themselves always getting short shrift in relation to the North.

“It is in my view no way to do business and I was not consulted about this decision.

“I am afraid that people will be bound to draw comparisons with current developments on both sides of the Mersey and will perceive resurgence on the Liverpool side and decline in Wirral.”