A REBELLION by Lib Dem councillors failed to derail controversial plans to close 11 Wirral libraries.
Amid rowdy scenes at Wallasey town hall the council voted to press ahead with the Strategic Asset Review which has split the peninsula.
The Labour-Lib Dem cabinet said the proposal would reduce the huge amount of public buildings owned by Wirral and cut-down on rocketing costs.
At one point six Lib Dem councillors – Phil Gilchrist, Dave Mitchell, Tom Harney, Steve Niblock, Paula Southwood and Pat Williams – opposed the plan.
The meeting was frequently adjourned amid shouting from the crowd.
There were so many people they had to listen to proceedings in an overflow room with speakers.
During the debate Conservative leader Jeff Green said: “If the Labour and Lib Dems think that the public will forgive or forget what they have proposed they are utterly mistaken.
“Members are being threatened and cajoled into supporting the plan – when three Labour MPs have come out against it.”
Describing the leader of the council Steve Foulkes as a “cultural terrorist”, he went on to remind him of a previous remark when he said he wanted libraries for everyone.
Cllr Foulkes said the vote gave the authority a way forward.
He said he wanted people to channel their energy into working with the authority on the buildings which can be transferred into community management and ownership.
Liberal Democrat leader Simon Holbrook admitted the disagreements in his ranks were “disappointing”. THE ECHO