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latest update 12 March 2010

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Oops! How Wirral Council misplaced Eastham library on inquiry map

Wirral Globe - by Justin Dunn

WIRRAL Council told the inspector in charge of the library closure inquiry that Eastham Library was in the completely wrong place.

Alan Stennard, the council’s director of regeneration, sent last minute evidence to inspector Sue Charteris that included a map with the library marked as being adjacent to Eastham Rake railway station.

Access to local transport has been one of the details being looked at by Ms Charteris.

But Eastham Library - which was not on the original list drawn up as part of the council’s controversial ‘strategic asset review’ that is calling for the closure of 11 of Wirral’s 24 libraries - is three quarters of a mile from the station at the far end from it on Mill Park Drive.

A council spokeswoman said: “An administrative error in the mapping process resulted in Eastham library being incorrectly located. This has been corrected and new maps have been issued.

“This had a marginal impact upon travel times that was not significant. The original error was detrimental to the council's case.”

Tory group leader Jeff Green said: “If the council doesn’t know where its own libraries are, it calls into question the whole tenor of its case to shut them down.

“The approach to this sorry affair has been baffling from day one and this is just another example of how hollow the council’s arguments to close our libraries have been.”

The inquiry was called by former culture secretary Andy Burnham.

His successor, Ben Bradshaw, will receive Ms Charteris’ report later this month.

© copyright Wirral Globe. Reproduced under fair use for the dual purposes of comment and news reporting