HAGLEY Parish Council has been forced to step in and prevent further cuts from taking place at the village's library.

It follows proposals from Worcestershire County Council to reduce the opening hours to save just under £6,000 a year.

The reductions would have meant the library opening an hour less each week day and closing altogether on a Saturday afternoon.

It's only two years since the parish council had to intervene to stop the library closing altogether.

Under the current arrangement, the parish council funds the cost of the library building while the county council maintains and funds the library service.

Councillor Lucy Hodgson, Worcestershire County Council's cabinet member for localism and communities, said: "We have been working with all libraries to find the best possible solution and have been in discussion with the Hagley Parish Council to find ways to avoid having to reduce opening hours at Hagley Library."

But parish councillors fear the plan to cut opening hours may only be the tip of the iceberg and Jim Austin, lead parish councillor for libraries, said: "We gave a commitment two years ago to all Hagley residents that the parish council would ensure the library continued to operate a full service.

"Statistics show the library is well used by Hagley residents and people from the surrounding villages.

"We have taken on volunteers to cope with demand, especially from the additional housing we are experiencing in Hagley.

"I'm delighted and relieved the parish council has agreed to provide additional funding to maintain current opening hours.

"We will also be seeking assurances from the county council that no further reviews or library cutbacks will be proposed.

"It's simply not fair to expect residents to pay twice for services they are already funding through their council tax."