Further vote on Dorset libraries' future

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Dorset County Council is to hold another vote on whether to save all of its 34 libraries.

In July councillors voted to withdraw funding from nine libraries as the county council looks to save £800,000 a year by 2012.

The Conservative-led authority had originally planned to shut 20 of its 34 sites, but revised the proposals.

Councillor Janet Dover has presented the council leader with a motion and a new vote will be held on 10 November.

Ms Dover raised the motion using a standing order, by getting the signatures from 10 county councillors supporting her.

Their support means she can ask for a minute to be rescinded from decision that was made in July and replace it with option D, which would see all 34 libraries preserved, but with a reduction in opening hours and a cut in the budgets for books.

Councillors had rejected that and opted to shut nine libraries, including ones in Wool, Corfe Castle, Charmouth and Puddletown, by next April unless volunteers could be found.

However, it was a narrow defeat for campaigners as 20 councillors voted to save all libraries, while 21 voted for the closures.

Ms Dover said she now hoped the public would urge their councillors to change their minds and to vote to keep the libraries open.

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