RESIDENTS of Upton have said they do not want an ‘open library’ which is not staffed, in response to county council plans.

People from the town said they were worried about security and did not believe the cost savings of an ‘open library’ justified the changes.

They were speaking at a meeting held as part of the public consultation into the future of Worcestershire’s libraries.

The library, which is currently run by the Upton Villages Together Trust and has been the subject of a working group, formed by Upton Town Council, is included in a county council review which looks at possible alternate ways of running library services.

Around 50 residents attended a meeting at Upton Library on Monday to ask questions of Councillor Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member for communities, which includes libraries.

Chris Mair, chairman of Upton Villages Together, said: “The county has said that some 70 per cent of running a library is staffing costs.

“Given that Upton Library is open for a total of 24.5 hours each week, our Trust is not convinced that this part-time staffing is a high cost.

“One thing that I and residents who turned out to the consultation agree on with Lucy Hodgson was her comment that a library has to be at the heart of the community and not just a place to borrow books.”

Councillor Hodgson said: “It was great to hear that so many people in Upton care so much about their library and we will set up a strategic meeting with the trust to discuss it.”