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Cash-strapped Wirral council bids to sell off free car parks

FIVE of Wirral's free car parks are to be sold off as part of the cash-strapped council's moves to rid itself of unwanted property and land.

In total, 13 sites deemed "surplus to requirements" – including the car parks – are set to be auctioned off next month.

Among the more attractive locations to potential buyers is Media House, on Claughton Road, in Birkenhead town centre.

The former school was converted into a business centre but only a small area has been used by the Red Cross, who are in the process of moving out.

The site had been held for potential inclusion with the Asda development, but the council said it was now not needed.

Also due to be auctioned are free car parks at Field Road and Mount Pleasant Road, in New Brighton; Manor Road, in Liscard; Stringhey Road, in Wallasey; and Olinda Street, New Ferry.

According to the authority, if none of the sites are subject to the council's call-in procedure to force a review of the decision, they will go to auction on February 14.

The council is currently consulting with Wirral residents and businesses over a range of potential cuts to services as it tries to find a way to bridge a £109m gap in its budget over the next three years.

Cabinet member for corporate resources, Cllr Adrian Jones, said councillors in all the wards affected had been consulted on the proposals and that there had been no major objections.

Other sites due to be auctioned include residential garages and land at 8 Russell Road, Wallasey Village and land at Kelvin Road, Wallasey, Whitfield Lane, Heswall and Ferry Road, Eastham.

The former depots at Whitfield Lane, Heswall and Raby Road, Thornton Hough, as well as 48-52 Old Bidston Road, Birkenhead, will also be put up for sale through auctioneers Sutton Kersh.

If not called in, the decision to sell the properties will come into effect from January 18.

Cllr Jones said the aim was to reduce costs to the authority as well as potentially gain profits from the sales for the council.

Cllr Jones added: "Quite a lot of the land is costly to keep; we have everything from repairs to grass cutting and fly-tipping to pay for."

liam.murphy@liverpool.com

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