THE results of a public consultation on the future of Bolton’s libraries will be announced on October 5 — a week before Bolton Council makes its final decision.

The report, which will be presented at Astley Bridge area forum, will be the first clear indica- tion of the council’s plans.

Five libraries — Oxford Grove, Castle Hill, Astley Bridge, Heaton and High- field — have been ear- marked for closure in a bid to save £400,000.

The council’s full exec- utive will consider the report at a special town hall meeting the week after, meaning area forum attendees will be among the first to hear the recommendations of the eight-week consulta- tion.

Currently, the council is looking at setting up neighbourhood collec- tion points in areas where libraries are to close.

The Central Library is to open on Sundays, while Farnworth, Har- wood, Horwich, Little Lever and Westhoughton libraries would open for 46 hours per week.

Breightmet and High Street would be open for 40 hours per week and Bromley Cross and Blackrod would see their hours reduced to 24 per week. The equivalent of 13 full-time posts would go, although the number of people made redun- dant will be more because most of the 100- plus library staff are part-time workers.

These proposals, how- ever, are subject to the consultation and the council must consider residents’ views as well as a 15,000-strong petition handed over to the coun- cil by the Save Bolton’s Libraries Campaign.

Ian McHugh, secretary of the campaign, said: “We can do no more and we hope a strong case has been made, and hope we have been listened to.”

The area forum takes place on Wednesday, October 5, at Astley Bridge Library, with a drop-in session from 6.30pm and the meeting from 7pm.

The town hall meeting, which is open to the pub- lic, will be held in the Festival Hall, at 10am on October 12.