CLOSURE of a popular library due to government spending cuts is not inevitable, residents were told.

Heaton Library is one of nine earmarked for closure by Bolton Council bosses, who hope to save between £400,000 and £500,000.

This week’s Heaton and Lostock Area Forum was held at the library on Wednesday, and residents said they were worried they could not reverse the plan.

Councillors told them the decision was not a foregone conclusion and encouraged them to keep fighting.

A council official also urged them to continue sending feedback to the council.

Some residents were angry because the council’s consultation, which ended last month, focused on the Central Library and five others.

There was not enough attention given to the remaining libraries, including Heaton, the residents said.

Dr Margaret Collier, Lostock residents’ group chairman, asked: “Is this where we should be making savings? So it’s not game over?”

Donna Ball, the council’s assistant director of environmental services, said: “Absolutely not.

The council is still taking feedback. If you have further concerns, you are still able to make representations.

“Make your views known.”

Jo Cocker, a Smithills resident and member of the Save Bolton Libraries Campaign, is among those from outside the area who use the library.

The 35-year-old said: “It’s ironic the area forum is here. If the library is shut there will be no community facility.

We’re about to have a presentation on health and well-being, and it’s been proven that access to learning is important in this.”

Cllr Bob Allen, a ward councillor, told the forum: “It is not inevitable that any library will close.

“We are fighting to keep Heaton Library open. I assure you we will do what we can.”

Astley Bridge, Bromley Cross, Breightmet, Castle Hill, Harwood, High Street, Orchards and Oxford Grove also face closure.

Almost 15,000 people have signed petitions and there have been more than 3,000 responses during the consultation period.

The feedback is being analysed with a report due in July and a decision expected the following month.