LONGER opening hours will be introduced at Moreton Library next year following the high court ruling that Gloucestershire County Council’s decision to withdraw funding from libraries was ‘unlawful’.

Last November GCC announced plans to cut library services by 43 per cent as part of its bid to save £108million over the next four years.

Following a three-day judicial review in September, Judge McKenna ruled that GCC had not considered the impact the closures would have on disadvantaged groups such as the elderly and disabled.

GCC is now teaming up with Cotswold Volunteers North (CVN) to introduce a wider range of services for Moreton residents.

The council is relocating its registration services into the library to reduce building costs, resulting in extended opening hours.

CVN will move all its services, currently located in Cotswold District Council premises, to the library and will continue to offer transport, befriending and carer respite services.

Registration Services will be based upstairs with a Registration Officer available on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9.30am to 12.30pm. Appointments must be made in advance.

There will be a volunteering information point, refreshments and a seating area within the library.

The services will join a police point, which opened in September.

Work starts in January and finishes in March, with the library remaining open throughout construction.

New self-service kiosks to improve customer services will also be installed. The offices will be open every day from 9am – 2pm.

Cllr Will Windsor Clive, cabinet member for communities, said: “This is a great example of how joint working improves the services we provide and at the same time saves money.”

Beth Johnson, chief executive of CVN, said: “This move will offer longer opening hours and provide us with an opportunity to be part of a community hub, offering information about volunteering opportunities across the country.”