MORE than 700 people have backed a campaign to save Hoylake Library.

The Wirral facility could close as the council looks to save millions of pounds to address its gaping budget black hole.

Plans published by Wirral Council show that 11 libraries, Woodchurch Leisure Centre and two public golf courses, among other things, could all go, although the plans could yet be changed or scrapped altogether by councillors.

The plans involve closing 11 of Wirral's 24 libraries, while keeping eight open as they are now, with the remaining five to stay open but unstaffed in a so-called ‘self service’ model.

Clare O'Grady’s petition to save Hoylake Library, one of the 11 under threat, read: "Hoylake library is a lifeline for everyone – young and old.

"It's used by the elderly to tackle isolation, and first-time parents who want to meet other families.

"It also offers people free education, internet and is one of the only free spaces where people can spend time."

The petition, which has got 748 signatures at the time of writing, continued: "Please help us campaign to keep this important space and show the council how utilised it can be if given the opportunity to be accessed.

"It's everyone’s right to have a library and others may not be accessible to members of the community who struggle to travel."

Backing Ms O’Grady’s call on the website, Helen van Marle said: "This library is vital for the residents of Hoylake. It has been a huge part of this community for as long as I can remember and it still is.

"Not everyone is able to get to West Kirby. Don't take away everything that we have, books and learning will always be needed and we love our local library."

Also supporting the petition, Julia Meadows said: "With good management and creative imagination this could be a thriving hub of and for Hoylake and [surrounding areas] once again. Please do not throw this opportunity away!"

Wirral Council will discuss its plans for cuts at tonight’s policy and resources committee meeting, in New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion at 6pm.

The authority is set for many hours of tense debate on the plans over the next few weeks before its budget is finalised by all 66 councillors on February 28.

Before then, councillors could change the plan and drop some of the proposed cuts, but savings will need to be found to ensure the authority clears its deficit and presents a balanced budget.

The libraries at risk of closure:

  • Bromborough
  • Greasby
  • Higher Bebington
  • Hoylake
  • Irby
  • New Ferry
  • Pensby
  • Prenton
  • Rock Ferry
  • Wallasey Village
  • Woodchurch

The eight to remain open:

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

The five to remain open but unstaffed:

  • 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)