PUBLIC libraries are being targeted for closure because of local authority spending cuts.

Wigan Council now wants people to take part in a borough-wide library consultation being conducted by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, who manage libraries on behalf of Wigan Council.

The four month survey aims to gather as much information as possible to help shape future library provision.

But Leigh Library, the most patronised in the borough, and Wigan Library are believed to be unaffected.

Following the government’s spending review in October, the borough’s library budget is facing a 25 per cent cut of £1.1m as Wigan Council looks to make savings of £55m over the next three years.

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust has sought approval from Wigan Council’s ruling cabinet to start a large scale four month consultation process to seek the views and opinions of local residents regarding their local library.

Pete Gascoigne, is WLCT’s Executive Director of Libraries, Heritage and Arts. He said: “This consultation will play an important part in any future decisions on the service.

“This reduction in library service budget will mean change and a reduction in libraries but Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust believe that at the end of this difficult process the borough will have a quality 21st century library service.”

The borough’s library services are made up of 18 libraries, two mobile libraries and a housebound service operating on an annual £4m budget.

Subject to Cabinet approval the consultation will begin on November 29, 2010 and finish March 31, 2011.

Consultation will include questionnaires, focus groups and public meetings.

Further information on the consultation can be found by visiting a local library or visit *LEIGH library will be given a “fresh” new look this winter.

The library at the Turnpike Centre will temporarily close in December to allow maintenance work to the window seating and counter, flooring and repainting.

To enable this work to be completed the library will temporarily close on Saturday, December 11 and re-open on Wednesday, December 29.

A reduced service will be run from the foyer in the Turnpike Centre.

Taryn Pearson, Head of Libraries and Life Long Learning for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust said: “Having to close for even a small amount of time is not ideal but this maintenance work needs to take place and Christmas is traditionally a quieter time for libraries."