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A plan by Labour-controlled Sefton Council to close three out of Southport’s four libraries has just been published and has provoked fury in the town.

Ainsdale, Birkdale and Churchtown libraries would all be for the chop under the plan due to go to Sefton Council’s ruling Cabinet, which comprises seven Bootle Labour councillors, at its meeting on Thursday 11 October. 

Birkdale councillor and leader of the 20-strong Lib Dem opposition group on the council, Iain Brodie Browne has attacked the proposals within the Council’s ‘Review of Library Service’ report as “completely unacceptable”.

The report refers to “a programmed closure of 7 libraries over two years” in Sefton as a whole, leaving just six libraries still open.  In Southport only the town centre library, due to reopen within the renovated Atkinson Centre, would remain.

Councillor Brodie Browne said: “Our four libraries in Southport are some of the busiest in the borough.  To close three of them is completely unacceptable.”

“The current libraries in Southport had 510,000 book issues between them last year.  The four in Bootle made just 190,000 issues.”

”So I am particularly appalled at the suggestion that Bootle will keep two libraries (Bootle and Netherton), whereas Southport is being cut down to just one.”

“Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised as Sefton Council is now run by Bootle Labour.  12 out of the 14 senior positions on the Council are taken by Bootle Labour councillors, including all of the Cabinet members.”

“We shall be fighting this in every way we can.”

Details of the proposal can be found in “Supplementary Agenda PDF 5MB” at

Photo above “Lib Dem councillors campaigning to save Southport Library in December 2009”

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