LABOUR'S by-election candidate has responded to concerns after incorrectly posting on Facebook that he secured funding to save Penketh Library.

The election for the Penketh and Cuerdley borough council seat takes place next Thursday.

The six-way battle is being contested by Labour's Kenny Watson, Conservative Phil Hayward, Liberal Democrat Dave Crowther, the Green Party's Steph Davies, UKIP's Ian Wilson and independent Geoff Fellows.

In December, Warrington Borough Council's (WBC) executive board committed to keeping all of the town's libraries open subject to ‘robust’ business cases.

In total, £1 million is planned to go towards repairs, maintenance and investment at existing buildings, while £150,000 has been designated to enhance the book fund budget.

The authority is currently working on business plans for each site.

However, in comments made on Facebook, Mr Watson, chairman of Momentum Warrington, claimed he has secured money to keep the area’s library open.

He said: "Our policies are stated plainly on all our election literature and include support for Penketh Library, maintaining rail services, opposition to Mersey Gateway tolls and fracking.

"I'm very active on this front and can announce I've secured funding from WBC to keep Penketh Library open and make some much-needed infrastructural improvements."

However, Mr Watson, insists the 'I've' in his comments should have been typed as 'we've'.

He added: "Labour are running a positive campaign about celebrating what makes Penketh great and making improvements.

"We have asked Penketh residents to let us know their concerns and have collated that information and are acting on making improvements.

"I've been active regarding saving Warrington libraries for several years.

"I'm a member of Friends of Penketh Library and have been lobbying the executive member for leisure at WBC for some time and I'm pleased that the decision was made to keep open the libraries, especially Penketh.

"I'm still in discussions with Cllr Higgins regarding more long-term plans for the library."

The council has also responded to the matter.

A spokesman said: "We have made a firm commitment to invest in delivering a sustainable future for our libraries.

"We are currently working with partners on business plans for each library and dealing with this on a case by case basis.

"We will provide further information as these plans move forward."

The by-election comes after former councillor Allin Dirir sadly died following a stroke.