RESIDENTS in Kingsclere will have a longer wait to find out the fate of the village library.

As previously reported by The Gazette, Hampshire County Council announced plans in January to shut the library in George Street in a bid to cut costs.

According to the county council, the library, along with another library in Milford-on-Sea, represent less than 0.4 per cent of all library visits in Hampshire.

Councillor Keith Chapman, executive member for culture, recreation and countryside, agreed to hand the running of the Milford-on-Sea over to a trust from March 2015, at a meeting yesterday.

But Kingsclere residents still face an uncertain wait over the future of the village library after Cllr Chapman agreed to continue discussions with the community until December 19, to see if they would be prepared to manage the facility.

If no-one comes forward to run the library, the service would be provided by a weekly mobile library service from the end of March 2015.

Cllr Chapman said: “Hampshire County Council has been looking closely at some of its smaller libraries to see how they can provide better value for money, at the same time as providing a modern and efficient library Service across Hampshire.

“We are going to continue talks with the community in Kingsclere until December 19 about the possibility of a local group taking on the running of the local library there. If that does not happen then Kingsclere library will be replaced by a weekly mobile library service from March 31, 2015.”

He added: “It’s important we look at all our services to make sure they are being delivered in the most effective way possible at a time when Government grant is reducing significantly and we have to find more money to meet the demands placed on our care services for vulnerable children and adults in need.

“We are committed to providing a comprehensive and efficient library and information service for all of Hampshire’s residents and to do this we need to make sure resources are going where there is demand, and where we can use them most efficiently.”