THE public consultation period on controversial plans to close the majority of libraries in Bury has opened.

Residents are invited to have their say on the two options put forward by Bury Council regarding the changes.

The options are to substantially reduce the number of library buildings while developing new ways to enhance the overall service, the council says.

Under both options, Bury Council proposes to create a ‘core’ team and a ‘community’ team, which would concentrate on developing digital services, information and learning, reader development and working in the community.

As well as the ‘core and service-wide’ service, the two options are: 1) to retain the following library buildings: Bury (plus Archives), Ramsbottom, and Prestwich; or 2) to retain Bury (plus Archives), Ramsbottom, Prestwich and Radcliffe.

All remaining libraries in the borough will close.

Residents are being asked for their opinions on the two options on how the service can be provided, against the need for the council to make significant budget cuts while improving the service currently offered to local communities.

Consultation starts today (Thursday February 2) and will last for 12 weeks until April 27.

Consideration will be given to the feedback before a final report is presented to the council’s cabinet.

People can read the proposals online at or read a hard copy at any library or at Bury Town Hall, Whittaker Street in Radcliffe and 3 Knowsley Place in Bury.

People can have their say online at, by post to Bury Library, Manchester Road, Bury BL9 0DG, or by email to

Councillor Sandra Walmsley, cabinet member for strategic housing and support services, said: “The council remains fully committed to retaining a high quality library service, but there will need to be changes.

“Despite this, we will continue to provide a service that meets our legal duties and supports the aspirations of residents of all ages for development of reading skills for the youngest, lifelong learning and access to books and information.

“I urge residents, whether they are library users or non-users, to have their say on the two options during the consultation period.”