SHIPSTON county councillor Chris Saint has vowed to fight proposed cutbacks in the town’s library service.

Coun Saint, who is chairman of Warwickshire County Council’s overview and scrutiny committee, said the proposals, which are currently out for public consultation until Thursday, June 9, would mean Shipston Library in Church Street becoming what is being called a “Library Local” with its opening hours cut from 30 to 20 a week.

However, Coun Saint, who is also Stratford district councillor for Tredington, told Shipston town councillors at their meeting last week that his first challenge to the proposals would be to ask how the community is served by reducing opening hours by a third.

He said Shipston was 11 miles from the nearest alternative library, at Wellesboure, which would also be classed as a “Library Local”.

The nearest main library, or “Library Hub” as it may be called, would be at Leamington, he said.

He also pointed out that the number of visits to the Church Street library in each of the last two years was 31,000, with 42,676 books issued in 2009/10, up 5 per cent on five years ago.

“The library is doing as much business as it was five years ago but we are told it’s because of declining business,” said Coun Saint, who added the figures failed to take account of people using the internet facilities at the library.

A special meeting of Shipston Community Forum is due be held at the town’s high school on Friday, May 20, at 7pm to discuss the library proposals.