HAGLEY Parish Council has stepped in to safeguard the future of the village library which was under threat of closure by Worcestershire County Council which is looking to cut costs.

An agreement has been reached whereby the county council will continue to provide a library service through the support of volunteers while the parish council takes over the responsibility for the building and the premises management costs involved.

County Councillor Rachel Jenkins, who fought against the closure, confirmed the parish council plans to turn the library premises into a community hub.

She said: "The library is the real heart of the community and I'm determined to keep it - but its role is changing and we have to start using libraries differently.

"We had a public meeting about the library and over 150 people turned up. That's how much it means to people. Proposals to turn the building into a community hub were given a resounding yes.

"Some members of the parish council were angry because they believed we were being held to ransom but it's about trying to make the best of a bad situation and this was the best result we could have got in the circumstances."

Hagley Community Association is now running a three-month consultation period for people who use the library to come forward with their views on the proposed hub.

Cllr Jenkins added: "We want everyone who uses the library to take part, whether they live in Hagley or come from further afield."

An on-line survey is now available at www.yourhagley2014.info

In the meantime, the councillor is now lobbying the county council for a proportion of money from the New Homes Bonus Scheme to help support the community hub.

She has also urged people to respond to the prospect of mobile library services being cut and added: "We had a great response when there was a threat to cut bus services in Hagley and I think the reaction was a major part in saving services. We need the same response again."