BARNSLEY Council has finalised a proposal which will allow all 17 of the town's libraries to remain open.

In a report to be considered by its Cabinet next week, the results of the consultation are outlined, and recommendations are made for the future of Barnsley's libraries.

Feedback from residents on the strategy included:

- 66.7 per cent of respondents agreed with the proposed model of keeping all library services, but shaping them into a library network, through a reorganisation of libraries and Connects centres.

- 67 per cent of respondents, and 71 per cent of children, agreed with the proposed changes to opening hours.

- 64 per cent of respondents said they would not be affected by the proposed changes.

Cllr Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesperson for adults and communities, said: "The new opening hours have been developed according to local demand, and mean that some library opening times have increased, as well as some being reduced.

"There's no change for central library, Priory and Worsborough, and increased hours for Penistone and Grimethorpe.

"Some other libraries will see slightly reduced opening hours, but in some cases this is just two hours per week. The most reduction that any library will see is six hours per week. Overall, this is a reduction of just 3.4 per cent."

There were some concerns raised, relating to the proposed reduction in book stock, reduction of evening and Saturday opening hours, and continuation of existing groups.

The Cabinet will consider alternative late night and Saturday opening options based on the findings, to address some of the concerns raised.

If the approach is approved, the opening hours will be reviewed annually.

The future libraries strategy sets the vision for the coming three years, but the immediate recommendation is to change opening hours from November 4.