A LIBRARY will shut two weeks before its cor- responding neighbour- hood collection opens — breaking Bolton Coun- cil’s promise that replacements would be in place before any facil- ities closed.
The announcement about Heaton Library came yes- terday on the same day another library, Oxford Grove, closed its doors for the final time.
Council bosses said the delay was so adjustments could be made to the layout of the building.
But last night, councillors and library campaigners slammed the local authori- ty for going back on its word. Tom Hanley of Save Bolton Libraries Campaign said: “They were categori- cal about it. It was an attempt to persuade us at least there wouldn’t be a point where people had no library facilities.
“It is a direct breaking of a pledge they made several times.”
The council said the two week delay was necessary so construction work could take place.
The building will be split into three, with a children’s centre, the collection point, and a community space.
Bolton Tory leader Cllr John Walsh, who opposed the library closures, said: “The council has gone against their promise. I am horrified, not only as a councillor but as a resident who uses Heaton Library.”
Leader of the Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “We apologise for any delay between closing the library at Heaton and open- ing the neighbourhood col- lection. We hope to carry out these adjustments with minimum disruption to the public.”
Heaton, which is due to close on March 9, will be the fourth of five libraries in Bolton to close in an effort to save £200,000 a year from Bolton Council’s budget.
Oxford Grove became the second library to close yes- terday, after Highfield closed in January.
Castle Hill is due to close on March 2 and a date for Astley Bridge is yet to be announced.
Heaton’s neighbourhood collection will open in the Heaton Library building on March 26. The new collec- tion point will be open to the public from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
The new-style service enables people to borrow books via a self-service machine and computers will offer internet access