The Green Party has accused Lichfield’s MP of insulting thousands of people who signed a petition against plans to move the city’s library.
New images have shown the plans for the facility when it transfers from The Friary to St Mary’s in the Market Square.
Once the move is complete, the library’s former home will be redeveloped as private residential accommodation.
The proposals have been praised by Rob Wilson, Parliamentary under-secretary of state for culture, media and sport, who said the approach showed how councils needed to be imaginative in order to keep libraries.
Lichfield’s Conservative MP Michael Fabricant said the move was a “win-win” and criticised the way the some elements of the local branch of the Green Party – which led a petition against the move – distributed what he says was incorrect details about the future plans for The Friary site.
“I condemn the use of misinformation and scare stories employed by some local members of the Green Party recently when they were conducting a petition to save Lichfield Library,” he said.
“I received letters from concerned constituents who were led to believe that the Friary in Lichfield, which currently houses the library, is to be demolished and a modern block of flats erected in its footprint. This was never the case.
“The Friary building will cost council taxpayers over £1million to repair water ingress from the roof and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the loss making Heritage Centre in St Mary’s Church in the Market Square was unsustainable.
“So the sale of the Friary with strict obligations to maintain its appearance and repair of the building while moving the library into St Mary’s, so securing both the future of the library and the Heritage Centre is a win-win situation.
“It is a model for imaginative thinking and I was pleased to raise it in Parliament. Credit where credit is due.”
But Robert Pass, chair of the Lichfield and Burntwood branch of the Green Party, said his party was committed to highlighting the local impact of the Government’s “austerity agenda”.
He said: “Mr Fabricant’s remarks are an insult to the 5,562 people from the area who signed the petition.
“The petition was calling for the people of Lichfield to be consulted on the future of their much-loved library. Instead, nearly all of the councillors who spoke completely ignored the content of the petition, and just talked up the move to St Mary’s and what a wonderful idea it was.
“The truth is that so many people we speak to are angry about the drastic cuts to public services and sale of valuable public assets.
“The Lichfield and Burntwood Green Party will continue to fight this damaging austerity agenda, which Lichfield’s MP shamefully and enthusiastically supports.”