BURY Council's cabinet committee officially confirmed tonight that 10 of the borough's libraries will close.

Members of the Labour group on the cabinet voted unanimously to implement a recommendation to cut the services in an attempt to save cash.

Councillor Sharon Briggs, portfolio holder for children and families, presented her report to fellow cabinet members proposing that Bury Library will remain open, along with libraries in Radcliffe, Ramsbottom and Prestwich.

Ainsworth Library, Brandlesholme Community Centre and Library, Castle Leisure Centre Library, Coronation Road Community Centre and Library, Dumers Lane Community Centre and Library, Moorside Community Centre and Library, Topping Fold Community Centre and Library, Tottington Library, Unsworth Library and Whitefield Library and Adult Learning Centre will all close in the shake up.

After concerned comments from the public gallery, council leader Rishi Shori pledged that the council will support community groups in developing plans to keep libraries open on a voluntary basis and at no cost to the council.

Some residents pleaded with the cabinet to reconsider the proposals and allow the decision to be taken by the full council, but Cllr Shori said the decision would be made tonight, and it was.

Cllr James Daly, Conservative group leader on Bury Council, had previously said that while he was happy that four libraries are remaining open, it was disappointing that “others are being closed which should not have been closed.”

Cllr Daly added: “The reason other libraries are closing is due to a lack of planning by the Labour council, the money could have been found.”

He asked for confirmation from Cllr Shori for the council's support for community groups looking to take over the running of the libraries, which he received.

Cllr Tim Pickstone, leader of the Lib Dem group, said: "We’re bitterly disappointed that Bury Council is going ahead with closing 10 libraries.

"It’s great that Radcliffe has been kept open for now, but whole areas of the borough will now be without a local library including the whole of Whitefield and Unsworth and many outlying areas of Bury itself.

"We would have wanted to see a greater use of volunteers and community groups to keep libraries open, which has been done so successfully in so many other parts of the country.

"As usual Bury’s consultation only asked what they wanted to hear, with residents being asked to ‘choose’ between closing 10 libraries or closing 11 — not much of a choice."

Residents had previously been asked during a consultation period which option they would prefer — the council’s bare minimum legal requirement of keeping open Bury, Ramsbottom and Prestwich Libraries, or saving Radcliffe Library in addition but at no extra cost so funding would be spread more thinly.

Of those who responded, some 71 per cent said that they wanted to keep Radcliffe open.

The council says it is trying to develop a sustainable library service which meets the needs of current and future service users, against a backdrop of budget reductions.