A SECOND campaign group has written to a top Government minister asking him to stop five Bolton libraries from closing.

Bolton and District Civic Trust has submitted a 68-page document to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt urging him to intervene in the town's library closure row.

It comes one month after the Save Bolton Libraries Campaign sent their own weighty dossier to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, calling on the Government to step in.

Campaigners say the proposals put forward by Bolton Council are based on inadequate consultation and impact assessment procedures.

They say the closure of five out of 15 of the borough’s libraries will produce a service which will not meet the council’s legal duty under the 1964 Museums and Libraries Act, campaigners say.

Richard Shirres, vice chairman of the Bolton and District Civic Trust, says in the organisation’s detailed submission, that the council has failed to ensure Bolton will have a comprehensive and efficient library service.

He said: “The council has demonstrably failed to safeguard and strive for a suitable standard of library service.”

Mr Shirres added that the council had also failed in its approach to areas of Bolton for which there was the greatest need.

Astley Bridge, Castle Hill, Oxford Grove and Heaton libraries are all due to close in the coming months, to be replaced by neighbourhood collections.

Highfield library has already closed its doors.

The closures come as the council strives to save £400,000 from libraries as part of wider £60 million budget cuts over two years, enforced by a reduction in central Government funding.

A council spokesman said: “We are aware that the Bolton and District Civic Trust has submitted a report to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and await their response with interest.

“We remain confident that the way we have conducted the library service review has been thorough and transparent and that our actions comply with the Public Libraries Act.

“We have been in constant contact with DCMS throughout our review and kept them up to date with our progress.”