A COUNCILLOR will put forward a motion to save a Hampshire library which is planning to be axed following a petition signed by more than 500 people.

Councillor Alan Dowden, who represents Valley Park on the borough council, previously branded the plans to chop the number of libraries across the county from 48 to 38 a "kick in the teeth", as Hampshire County Council (HCC) aims to save £1.76m by 2021.

Among the 10 libraries included in the planned axing, North Baddesley Community Library, which is in the ward which Cllr Dowden represents.

Cllr Dowden said: "The North Baddesley Community Library has been run for the last eight years by volunteers and is well used by all ages groups.

"It is an essential resource for learning and pleasure within a population of over 6,500 residents.

"A petition has been signed by almost 600 household in North Baddesley who are objecting to this proposal to close their Community Library."

Cllr Dowden has worked out that these proposed cuts would only save the County Council £11,000.

He therefore thinks the proposed cuts to the libraries is a "kick in the teeth".

He said: "I will suggest to the Leader of the Council, Cllr Mans, that each County Councillors’s Community Grant of £8,000 is reduced to £7,500.

"This could provide the savings to secure the four community libraries under threat of closure."

Cllr Alan Dowden thinks this is a better way to provide savings, rather than libraries which are used by "all ages".

Hampshire County Council’s Executive member for recreation and heritage, cllr Seán Woodward, previously said: “The way people use library services is changing, and we need to make sure our services evolve to meet these needs.

“At the same time, we are facing an anticipated budget shortfall of £80 million by April 2021 and are having to look across all of the County Council’s services to find savings which can help to bridge this gap as demands for services rise, particularly in social care.

“We remain absolutely committed to providing a high-quality library service, fit for the future, that responds to a new generation of library customers. Therefore, we feel the right thing to do is focus the resources we have on where they will be of most benefit - to make the library service relevant in a way that will improve the literacy, life chances and wellbeing of Hampshire residents."

County bosses have also proposed all 48 council-run libraries could remain open, but that would mean that they will all have their opening hours reduced by 25 percent.

The county council said the impact on staff would also depend on the number of closures, but between 40 to 50 jobs could be at risk.

A final decision on the proposal is expected to be made in summer 2020, followed by a further consultation on opening hours.

Changes would be implemented in autumn 2020.