CAMPAIGNERS attempting to save Radcliffe Library from closure have gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition.
Last month it was announced that Bury would lose 10 or 11 of its 14 libraries under plans to save cash – now residents are rallying round to save their much-loved library.
The petition to save Radcliffe library currently has more than 450 signatures and has been started to raise awareness of the public consultation period.
Proposals were tabled at a Bury Council cabinet meeting and a final decision is due to be made in April.
Public consultation will continue until April 27 with residents being asked for their opinions on two options put forward.
The first option under consultation is to save Bury library, plus the archives, Ramsbottom and Prestwich libraries, with the second to retain Radcliffe library as well as those in Bury and the archives, Ramsbottom, Prestwich.
Bury Council leader Rishi Shori says that keeping Radcliffe library open is still his preferred option in the consultation.
“We are not proposing to close the Radcliffe library,” he said.
“We are proactively trying to keep it open but there is a public consultation going on.
“Keeping Radcliffe library is still my preferred option and we have budgeted to keep it open.”
Whatever happens in the public consultation, the proposals in place aim to provide at least one main library building in the north, central and southern parts of the borough.
Under both options, council bosses claim 98 per cent of Bury residents would still be within 30 minutes’ reach of a library.
Councillors have previously stated that numerous aspects have been taken into account when deciding to close library services in the borough.
Cllr Sandra Walmsley, cabinet member for strategic housing and support services, said: “The current library service is not sustainable.
“Staff levels have reduced by 30 per cent since the last review, meaning that libraries cannot fulfil their opening hours and are sometimes closed at short notice.”
She has stated that some library buildings are not in great condition with major investment needed in future years.
But there has been criticism that not enough people know about the consultation.
On Facebook Gemma Gray said: “Sadly not enough people know what’s going on. If they don’t use social media, hear from someone else or use the library to find out there, how would they know? I’ve signed and asked others to but it’s not enough.”
People can sign the Save Radcliffe Library petition by visiting http://bit.ly/2kLqtop
Proposals put forward by the council can be found online at www.bury.gov.uk/libraryservicereview or read a hard copy at any library or at Bury Town Hall, Whittaker Street in Radcliffe and 3 Knowsley Place.