AWARD-WINNING children’s author Alan Gibbons has added his support to the campaign to keep all libraries in Bolton open.

Mr Gibbons, who won the Blue Peter book award in 2000 for his bestseller Shadow of the Minotaur, spoke out against planned closures at a public meeting.

He said: “In Chartist times it was working class towns across the North West that campaigned for public libraries which gave access to books and libraries for all.”

At the meeting, at Bolton Central Library, the Vicar of Bolton, the Rev Matt Thompson, blamed the banking crisis for putting the borough’s network under threat of closure and argued that “communities need local their local libraries, they don’t cost that much to run”.

The meeting also discussed how best to fight the cuts, including petitions, lobbying, protests, “read in” events and the possibility of a judicial review.

Anti-cuts campaigner Tom Hanley, who chaired the meeting, said “This was a great meeting and we hope this will be the start of a successful campaign to save libraries.”

Bolton Council is carrying out a 12-week consultation on the borough’s libraries.