CAMPAIGNERS are aiming to save youth and day centres amid plans to slash Wirral Council’s budget.
Among those urging councillors to think again is teenager Warren Ward, opposing plans to reduce the borough’s youth centres to four main hubs.
The 15-year-old is chairman of Bebington youth club in New Ferry and has collected a petition of more than 1,700 signatures in just over a month to save the facility.
Warren, who attends St John Plessington Catholic College, said: “Bebington youth club is 51 years old and I believe it is the beating heart of New Ferry. Without it things will get worse.”
His petition was handed in to a meeting of Wirral Council at Wallasey town by local Labour councillor Steve Niblock, who said although no decision has yet been made the threat of closure of the youth club had sparked a “huge response from the community”.
The petition is just one of many campaigns springing up as people become more aware of how the council cuts will affect them.
At a meeting of the budget cabinet next Monday councillors will be making key decisions on proposals to save £39m this year, part of £109m to be cut over the next three years as the council struggles to set a “legal” budget.
Also trying to convince the council to think again about cuts to services helping the most vulnerable is Peter Linnane, whose son Mark, 30, has attended Heswall day centre for 11 years and fears for the future if it is closed.
Mr Linnane and his wife Jeanette, from Bebington, are both retired and depend on the help the centre gives their son as well as the respite they both receive.
The council says the day centres “need substantial investment to an acceptable quality standard” and put forward proposals which include closing one of them.
Mr Linnane said: “We think they have made their decision and are now just trying to justify why they are closing it.
“They say one of them must shut under these proposals, but we do not want any of them to close. Heswall is the most prominent and the land there is probably the most valuable, but they provide a really good service.
“The staff are so caring and go beyond their ordinary duties. If one centre closes we would lose that."
Mark’s sister Heather said the Heswall day centre is able to deal with those who have complex needs and for Mark, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, it is “a lifeline”.