THE leader of Barnsley Council has praised the work done to ensure all 17 of Barnsley's libraries remain open.

Sir Steve Houghton told cabinet members that the Future Library Strategy was a 'first class piece of work'.

It means all the borough's libraries are to remain open and only half will see a small reduction in their opening hours.

Cllr Houghton said libraries having a future in Barnsley was good news, particularly in light of other local councils having to cut services and, in some cases, close libraries.

He said: "At a time when we're under huge pressure and have to get costs down and keep a pretty good service, it deserves praise not criticism and I want to congratulate everyone for their involvement. It's a very emotive area."

The new opening times came into effect on November 4.