A PETITION, signed by more than 600 people, has been handed to Bolton Council as part of the campaign to save Astley Bridge Library.

The library, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, is one of a number facing closure as part of council cuts.

A 12-week public consultation has been launched into the proposals.

Hundreds of people from Astley Bridge have signed a petition, calling for their library to be kept open.

It was handed to the council by Paul Wild, prospective Conservative candidate for Astley Bridge ward.

He said: “It is such a strong focal point in the community and it is not just for the books. Elderly people use it to learn computer skills and it really is a place for all the family.”

The signatures were collected in just 10 days and around 200 more have since been gathered.

Mr Wild said: “I just hope the council can see a way to keep all the libraries open.

“I appreciate they have had cuts to the budget, but I think there are other ways libraries can pay their way.

In America, libraries have cafes to bring in revenue and I also think renting space out to local businesses would make them more profitable.”

The library service shakeup could potentially save £400,000 to £500,000 as part of council plans to cut £60 million over the next two years.

Under the proposals the central library and town libraries in Blackrod, Farnworth, Horwich, Little Lever and Westhoughton would be safe, although their hours and services could be changed.

The remaining libraries at Harwood; High Street, Daubhill; Astley Bridge; The Orchards, Farnworth; Bromley Cross; Heaton; Oxford Grove, Halliwell; Castle Hill, Tonge Moor; and Breightmet, are being assessed on criteria that range from closeness to other lib-raries to the condition of the buildings.

The consultation is available until midnight on Friday, May 20, at bolton.gov.