A community group that knits for charity has said it will not let the local library "go without a fight" if closure plans are approved.

The Greasby Knitters - who raise funds for charity and to decorate the village - met weekly at Greasby Library from 2014 until the Covid lockdowns.

Last week it emerged the library is among 11 in Wirral that could close their doors for good under council proposals as it looks to save £20m to plug a budget black hole.

Libraries are not the only service under threat in cost-cutting plans. The authority is also considering closing Woodchurch Leisure Centre, two public golf courses and nine public toilets, among other services.

The plans are not set in stone and still have to go through several committees, where they can be changed or scrapped altogether.

However, news that the council is considering closing Greasby Libraries and other libraries at all has been described by Janet Thorning, founder of the Greasby Knitters, as 'very unwelcome'.

Wirral Globe:

Some of the Greasby Knitters at work. Picture: Janet Thorning

Janet told the Globe today: "Before lockdown Greasby Library was a community hub where people of all ages could indulge their love of books, use the computers, do research, attend groups and evening talks run by the Friends group etc. The Summer Reading Challenge for children was also very well supported.

"The Library is very important to Greasby residents of all ages.

"It will resume its role as a focal point in the village again – given the chance - as the shadow cast by Covid lifts, people become more confident to be out and about and volunteers are allowed to return to extend opening hours.

"We will not let it go without a fight. In the meantime we're giving it some woolly tree hugs."

Greasby is among 11 of Wirral's 24 libraries that could close altogether if the plans go through.

The others are: Bromborough, Higher Bebington, Hoylake, Irby, New Ferry, Pensby, Prenton, Rock Ferry, Wallasey Village and Woodchurch.

The local authority has put forward three ways it could save money from closing libraries, but 'Option 3' is the one being recommended to councillors.

This involves keeping five of the remaining 13 open but unstaffed, in a so-called 'self service' model.

Option 3 will see just eight libraries staying open with staff remaining, saving the council £814,365 if approved.

The eight libraries are:

  • Birkenhead Central
  • West Kirby
  • Wallasey Central
  • Bebington Central
  • Eastham
  • Moreton
  • Upton
  • Heswall

The five unstaffed libraries that would share their space with another organisation, if approved, are:

  • Leasowe (sharing with the Millennium Centre)
  • Beechwood (shared with a ‘community asset’)
  • Ridgeway (to be located in an identified school area)
  • St James (sharing with the St James Centre)
  • Seacombe (sharing with the Seacombe Children’s Centre)

Wirral Council's Labour leader Janette Williamson said last week: "In Wirral we have worked hard to protect those services which we know people value – and we will continue to do so.

"But we have now reached a point where we also must accept the authority cannot continue to try to deliver the same services that it was funded to provide a decade ago.

"Put simply we have substantially less money coming into the council and must find a way to deliver the services people want and need, but to do so within our means.

"And although this will be hugely challenging, we are determined to deliver those much-needed services in the best way we can.

"We will re-boot the council’s approach to how it delivers those services to focus on those which will best benefit the people of Wirral."