COMEDIAN Dave Spikey has called on Bolton Council chiefs to reprieve five libraries earmarked for closure.

The popular stand-up has lent his backing to the Save Bolton Libraries Campaign after learning of the plight of the under-threat libraries.

Spikey, who now lives in Chorley, spent his formative years devouring books in libraries in Heaton and Halliwell.

Now, as both libraries face the axe, the funnyman is calling on Bolton Council to have a rethink and has branded the proposals “short-sighted”.

He said: “I spent a lot of my childhood in Oxford Grove and Heaton libraries and I used to really love going there. It opened up a fantastic new world of the imagination to me.

“I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear that they might close.

“I can’t believe how incredibly short-sighted this is, especially when now, more than ever before, it is imperative that we encourage creativity in as many ways as we possibly can, especially for children and young people.

“I hope the council can find a way to keep all five of these libraries open, and I fully support what local people are trying to achieve through the Save Bolton Libraries Campaign.”

A public meeting on the future of Bolton’s libraries is to take place at Bolton Central Library on Thursday.

Leaders from the three major political parties as well as the leader of the Save Bolton Libraries Campaign will debate the planned closures of the five libraries in front of a “Question Time”-style audience.

Bolton Council leader Cllr Cliff Morris, Tory chief Cllr John Walsh, deputy Liberal Democrat leader David Wilkinson, Alan Johnson of the Green Party, Ian McHugh, secretary of Save Bolton Libraries Campaign, and a speaker from Unison will all be on the panel.

Libraries at Astley Bridge, Highfield, Oxford Grove, Heaton and Castle Hill, could be closed in a bid to reduce spending by £400,000 as part of a wider programme of cuts to save £60 million.

Thursday’s meeting starts at 7pm.

A consultation on the libraries’ future is running until Friday.

To have your say on the future of Bolton’s libraries, go to