THIRTEEN Wirral libraries and three leisure centres are facing the axe.

Wirral Council has announced radical proposals to tackle rising energy costs and the cost of repairing ageing buildings, covering all areas of the borough.

Guinea Gap Baths, Woodchurch Leisure Centre and Grange Road West Sports Centre are recommended for closure along with Birkenhead Central Library.

Also under threat are historic Wirral Museum/Birkenhead Town Hall, with the council expected to look at options for alternative uses or disposal.

The council is also expected to close Wirral Transport Museum in Taylor Street, Birkenhead and look at alternative uses for the site - although one option is to transfer it to a trust.

It wants to create a new central reference library, likely to be at Europa Pools in Birkenhead and spend 20m on 12 "multi-purpose complexes" across the borough, housing council services, library facilities and community space.

Libraries and leisure centres facing the axe are:

LIBRARIES

New Ferry Library

Higher Bebington Library

Bromborough Library/Civic Centre

Hoylake Library

Prenton Library

Ridgeway Library at Ridgeway School

Birkenhead Central Library

Beechwood Library

Pensby Library

Irby Library

Upton Library

Seacombe Library

Wallasey Village Library

LEISURE CENTRES

Grange Road West Sports Centre

Guinea Gap Baths

Woodchurch Leisure Centre

Libraries staff have contacted the News to say they were told not to talk to the press about the closures.

One man said: "The council have just spent a lot of money fixing up Birkenhead Central Library and now they want to close it - what a waste.

"Everyone is very worried about what the future holds."

Council leader Steve Foulkes said "doing nothing was never an option" but Conservative leader Jeff Green has called the proposals "disgraceful".