MP Marie Rimmer has welcomed the decision by Knowsley Counjcil to scrap its plans to sell off 10 per cent of the area's green spaces - including Brown's Field in Prescot.

New leader of the authority Cllr Graham Morgan confirmed that the initial proposals to sell off 17 parks and green spaces have been axed.

The council had previously agreed to sell the parkland sites for development in order to raise enough money to create a £40 million endowment, with the aim of protecting the remaining 90 per cent of parks in the face of budget cuts.

However, the plans were met with fierce opposition from residents - with a family march to the council's headquarters taking place in April.

Cllr Morgan said: “Upon taking over I made it clear that one of my first priorities would be to look at the future of our parks – which are undoubtedly one of Knowsley’s greatest assets.

"Alongside my colleagues, I have since looked in detail at all of the background documentation behind the independent review and taken note of the feedback and views of the local community."

He added: “There is no doubt that we still face an unprecedented financial challenge. But, for Knowsley to thrive in the future, I strongly believe that we have to work together with our local communities, listen to their views, and then shape our decisions on the basis of that complete and full picture."

Welcoming the news, Marie Rimmer, MP for St Helens South and Whiston said in a joint-statement with other Knowsley MPs George Howarth and Maria Eagle: "We asked Knowsley Council to ensure that the concerns raised by residents be carefully examined and, also, the possibility of other options be examined.

"We concluded by calling on the council to keep an open mind on other options and in moving forward to take into account all of the concerns raised by constituents.

"Despite enormous financial pressure, Knowsley Council have taken into account wishes of residents and warmly welcome (the) announcement."