CAMPAIGNERS have failed in their bid to halt radical changes to library services after the Vale Council announced final plans for community led facilities today.

Following a public consultation last year, the Vale Council announced a timetable for implementing plans to 'safeguard the future of library services'.

Opening hours will change and community groups are invited to help run Dinas Powys, Rhoose, St Athan, Wenvoe and Sully following Vale residents’ endorsement of the strategy to reshape library services.

The plans also provoked massive opposition from residents and campaigners in Rhoose opposed the downgrading of their village facility and submitted a petition of more than 1,300 signatures to decision-makers at full council in December last year.

The council said those interested in developing a community led library will have until May18 to begin working with the council to develop a viable business plan.

The council then aims to have community libraries in Dinas Powys, Rhoose, St Athan, Wenvoe and Sully up and running by spring 2016.

Opening hours at Barry, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major and Penarth libraries will be reduced by a total of 41 hours each week, from June 1.

Libraries will continue to open for at least one evening a week as those who responded to the consultation requested.

Cabinet member for adult services, Cllr Stuart Egan, said: “The consultation made it very clear that people in the Vale are passionate about their library service. Over the past months we have spoken to a number of groups willing to help us maintain the current number of libraries in the county. We believe there are more people out there who would like to contribute and we are asking them to come forward.

“The unprecedented financial pressures that we are currently facing mean that we simply cannot continue to provide services in the same way. We do not want to see libraries in the Vale close but the status-quo is not an option.

“We want to work with all those who have a passion for libraries to develop new ways of running them. By working together we believe that we can maintain the current level of provision in the Vale.”

Community led libraries is one of a number of changes to Vale services needed to help the council meet its £25million savings target for the next three years.

The scheme is projected to save the council £187,000 while the reduction in opening hours at larger facilities is due to save £256,000.

Consultation, to which 1,210 responses were received, addressed the issue of moving St Athan library to another site in the village.

Further discussion will now take place with any party expressing an interest in establishing a community library in the area.