A WOMAN campaigning to save Bolton libraries from closure has taken her battle to the banks.

Rachel Mann targeted the town centre’s Barclays branch when she set up her own “lending library” nearby to gather signatures for a petition against any library shutdowns.

A number of libraries across Bolton are under threat of closure as part of the council’s drive to save £60 million in the next two years. Libraries in Breightmet, Astley Bridge, Bromley Cross, Heaton, High Street in Daubhill, Castle Hill, Tonge Moor, Oxford Grove in Halliwell, The Orchards in Farnworth and Harwood could all face the axe.

The 51-year-old said: “The banks are “stealing”

our libraries. We, the tax payers, bailed out the banks when they were in trouble.

“The banks, even those that did not take our money directly, owe their survival to us. Without the bailout, the whole system would have collapsed.

Now, banks are back in profit and it’s business as usual.”

Rachel, of Burnside Road, Smithills, said she deliberately set up her stall near Barclays in Bolton’s Victoria Square because the bank, nationally, had made a huge profit.

Members of the public signed the petition and were also able to borrow a number of books, which formed the “lending library”.

Supporters of direct action group, UK Uncut, also staged a series of small demonstrations outside branches of Barclays bank in central London on Saturday in protest over claims of tax avoidance, bonuses and the “broken” banking system.

A Barclays spokeswoman said: “Barclays takes its responsibilities as a corporate citizen very seriously.

“We comply with taxation laws in the UK and in all the countries where we do business.”

Staff at the Barclays branch in Victoria Square declined to comment.

A three-month consultation into the future of Bolton’s libraries will be launched on March 1. It will be online and copies will also be available from libraries.