A second consultation process on delivering savings of £400,000 from the library network has seen 65 per cent of residents, who were randomly sampled, supporting Option One.
This option will see the closure of five of the 15 libraries and retention of the quality of the existing service, rather than Options Two or Three which would result in cuts in hours of up to 50 per cent across the existing network and a greater reduction in staff numbers.
The final report approved by the Executive on Wednesday, October 12 also outlines many mitigation measures to reduce the impact of the decision on residents and borrowers.
These include the introduction of Neighbourhood Collections, with extra staffing; Sunday and Bank Holiday openings at Central Library; retention of library buildings for community use; expansion of Library Link; retention of the Schools Library service and no charges for ICT.
The Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “We are confident that through the statistical random sample, local people seem to agree with the council that retaining quality of service across fewer libraries rather than reducing hours in all libraries is the best way forward.
“We understand this decision may not be popular but we have worked very hard to mitigate the effects on the borough.”