RESIDENTS were unanimous in showing their support to save Radcliffe library as consultation over its prospective closure draws to an end.
A show of hands at the Radcliffe Township Forum on Monday, March 20, made it clear that everyone in attendance are hoping for one outcome.
The public can have their say on two options, which will see at least ten of the borough’s 14 libraries close – including Radcliffe Library.
Head of libraries, Elizabeth Binns gave a presentation on the options and encouraged residents to have their say on the plans.
Both options result in the closure of the majority of the borough’s libraries — the first option would save Bury Library and the archives, Prestwich Library and Ramsbottom Library, the second would save Radcliffe Library in addition to those.
Under both options, council bosses claim 98 per cent of Bury residents would still be within 30 minutes’ reach of a library.
Councillors have previously stated that numerous aspects have been taken into account when deciding to close library services in the borough.
One angry member of the public said that Radcliffe Library must be saved and that the area was losing its identity as more and more services are taken away.
She said: “We have lost enough in Radcliffe. There will be nothing left and our community will just fall apart if we keep going on like this.”
Ms Binns urged residents’ to engage in the second stage of the public consultation and said how it important it was for people to leave their comments, even if they did not agree with either option.
She said: “Nobody want to close the libraries but the service is under a tremendous amount of pressure.
“We understand how people feel about libraries. We love and value our libraries but we are working in a very harsh economic climate. The financial reality has to be faced in every single council department.
“People need libraries more than ever but we are here to make sure we are offering the best library service we can.
“I would urge everyone to have their say on the options, even if you don’t like either option, you can make that clear by writing your comments on the matter.”
The aim is to provide at least one main library building in the north, central and southern parts of the borough.
Bury Council leader Cllr Rishi Shori agreed that people should offer their views before time runs out.
He said: “I have made it clear that my preferred option is option two.
"The central library in Radcliffe is one of the best used in Bury and I urge people to join in the consultation and voice their opinion."
Public consultation will continue until April 27 with a final report going to Cabinet members on May 18.
Implementation of the results will take place from August 1.
Ms Binns added: “We can’t do it without you!”