4,000-name petition in fight to save library

RESIDENTS in Bromley Cross are hoping to trigger a Town Hall debate on the future of their local library, after collecting more than 4,000 signatures on a petition.

Bromley Cross Library is one of 10 libraries under threat of closure as part of the council’s programme to save £60 million over two years.

In January, the Executive approved a review and reorganisation of the borough’s library service to potentially contribute £400,000 to £500,000 to those savings.

The review recommended that the council keeps open the Central Library, in Le Mans Crescent, as a central hub, keeps libraries open in the townships — Farnworth, Westhoughton, Horwich, Blackrod and Little Lever — and carries out a review of the remaining facilities to see which can be closed.

The plans, which are currently out to consultation, have prompted fury from residents across the borough.

Cllr David Greenhalgh, the ward councillor for Bromley Cross, will be presented with the petition on the Town Hall steps on Tuesday morning.

He said: “Getting 4,000 signatures is enough to trigger a debate in the council chamber so the residents have done very well.

“I think there probably needs to be a wider debate on the libraries issues because there have been a lot of residents expressing concerns via petitions across the borough.”

Residents in Astley Bridge and Harwood have also collected signatures on petitions and the Save Bolton Libraries Campaign lobbied councillors outside the Town Hall last month.

Meanwhile, residents have less than a week to take part in the consultation exercise.

People filling in the survey have been asked which libraries they use currently, how any closures would impact on their lives and if they can suggest alternative ways of making the necessary savings.

Once the deadline has passed, the questionnaires will be analysed and the responses will form part of a report which will be considered by the Executive in the summer.

Residents have until midnight on Friday, May 20 to register their views via an online survey at bolton.gov.uk/libraries

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