THE future of Bolton’s libraries will be sealed on October 12 at a special meeting of Bolton Council’s full executive.

The town hall meeting, which is open to the public, will be held in the Festival Hall, at 10am.

The eight members of the Labour executive will hear the results of a public consultation, and will be presented with the recommendations of council officers.

Five libraries—Oxford Grove, Castle Hill, Astley Bridge, Heaton and Highfield — have been earmarked for closure in a bid to save £400,000.

Campaigners will not be able to speak at the meeting, but will find out whether the pressure they have placed on the council has had any impact on the proposals.

The executive was presented with three options in July and approved option one, subject to an eightweek public consultation.

That process was completed last week and officers are now busy compiling the results ahead of next month’s final decision.

Cllr Cliff Morris, leader of Bolton Council, said: “The results of the consultation are still being put together, so there is very little I can say at this stage.

“We will have to wait and see what comes of the consultation.”

Option one would see neighbourhood collection points set up in areas where libraries are to close. The Central Library would open on Sundays Farnworth, Harwood, Horwich, Little Lever, and Westhoughton libraries would open for 46 hours per week, while those in Breightmet and High Street would be open for 40 hours per week.

Brom- ley Cross and Blackrod would see their hours reduced to 24 per week, from 26.5 and 24.5 respectively.

Of the 100-plus staff who work across the borough’s library network, almost 13 fulltime equivalents would lose their job, although the number of people made redundant would be more because of the number of part-time staff.

Option two would have seen no closures, but the opening hours of all libraries, including Central Library, cut by up to 38 per cent.

The third option exempted the Central Library from any cuts in hours, but would have seen the hours cut at the other branches by almost half.

The two options rejected by the executive in July would mean the equivalent of 19 fulltime job losses. These options are subject to some change, following the consultation.

Ian McHugh, secretary of the Save Bolton Libraries Campaign, said: “The key thing is there are a lot of people who have expressed their views.

“We’re glad that happened and thousands of people have said how much libraries mean to them. We can do no more and we hope a strong case has been made, and hope we have been listened to.”