CAMPAIGNERS against the downgrading of Rhoose library came out in protest against council proposals this week.

Libraries across the Vale are facing changes as the council aim to make overall savings of £32 million.

In a bid to cut £500,000 from their library budget, the Vale council are seeking to cut opening hours at the area's four major libraries - Barry, Penarth, Cowbridge and Llantwit Major - and to recruit volunteers to run the remaining five libraries in Sully, Wenvoe, Dinas Powys, St Athan and Rhoose.

Rhoose residents have come out in opposition to the plans with the Save Rhoose Library Campaign group leading the way.

Campaigners were joined at the protest (held last week on Friday, November 7) by ward councillors and regional Assembly Member Andrew RT Davies.

Mr Davies said: "Rhoose library plays a vital role in the local community and whilst the role of the local library has changed over the years, they remain important for both cultural and social reasons.

“It’s not just about making books available and fostering a love of reading, libraries are social and cultural community hubs.

"These plans to downgrade provision in Rhoose are extremely concerning and today’s protest sent a strong message to the council.”

Rhoose Conservative councillor Jeff James said: “Residents are extremely unhappy at Labour plans to downgrade Rhoose library from its current status as a professional service.

“I was pleased to see a strong turnout by locals who took the opportunity to let the administration know what they thought of the plans.”

Speaking last month Save Rhoose Library Campaign group chairman Chris Economides said: “Rhoose was only added to the list of libraries to be downgraded at the last minute. We’ve yet to have any clear explanation of who made that decision and on what basis.

“The argument used was that Rhoose would otherwise be the only village in the Vale to remain as a professionally run branch.

"Frankly that’s a ludicrous basis on which to make a decision affecting thousands of elderly people and schoolchildren who use the library regularly. It’s time the council provided some real explanations to justify their proposals.”