Conservative councillor votes to close library in his own ward

A bid to send Bootle Labour’s Library closure plan back to the drawing board has narrowly failed. In a shocking development, Conservative councillor for Ainsdale, Terry Jones, voted with Labour to say that closing Ainsdale Library was a sound decision.

Ainsdale, Birkdale and Churchtown Libraries are all under threat of closure in Southport.  Birkdale Lib Dem councillor Iain Brodie Browne and four fellow councillors used a special council procedure to 'call in' the closure decision made earlier in October.

Campaigning in the winter of 2009/10 to secure Southport town centre library
However their attempt to persuade Sefton Council’s Scrutiny Committee to force the Bootle Labour-dominated Cabinet to reconsider was defeated – with Ainsdale’s Tory councillor Terry Jones voting with Labour.

Cllr Brodie Browne commented: "Local residents were quite rightly appalled at the original decision.  We are particularly concerned that a number of sensible alternatives have not been adequately worked out or costed – options like community managed libraries and the possibility of greater use of volunteers."

"Lib Dem councillors called this in because we have serious doubts about the soundness of the decision taken on 11th October by the Bootle Labour Cabinet.  What is absolutely staggering is that Ainsdale Conservative councillor Terry Jones voted to agree that he was not concerned about the Labour decision."

Ainsdale Lib Dem councillor Haydn Preece was one of those who signed the ‘Call-In’ and he attended Thursday’s meeting.  He added: "I just don’t understand what Terry is up to.  His actions are an absolute kick in the teeth for the thousands of Ainsdale residents who have already mobilised to try and save our library."