Nine libraries in Dorset have funding withdrawn

Dorset County Council has decided to close nine of its libraries unless volunteers can keep them open.

Funding for the libraries will be withdrawn as the county council looks to save £800,000 a year by 2012.

If volunteers cannot be found, the libraries in places including Wool, Corfe Castle, Charmouth and Puddletown will close completely next April.

The decision was taken by the county council during a full council meeting on Thursday afternoon.

Campaigners have threatened to take legal action against the council over the proposed closures.

The Conservative-led council had originally planned to shut 20 of its 34 sites, but revised the proposals.

One option, which had been considered at the full meeting, was to keep all 34 of Dorset's libraries open but with a reduction in opening hours and with less money to spend on books.

The council's alternative idea was to close nine libraries with the remaining smaller libraries run by volunteers and community groups.

Dorset campaign group Adlib argues the under-threat libraries could become cheaper to run instead of being closed.

In a similar campaign in Gloucestershire, a judge ruled that its council could not close any libraries while a judicial review takes place.

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