SUPPORTERS of Dorset’s nine threatened Libraries will be hoping for a stay of execution today as civic leaders vote for the second time on the service’s future.

Dorset County Council’s Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Janet Dover has spearheaded a campaign to get the issue back on the agenda after a vote was passed earlier this year, to remove county funding. Since then, 10 fellow councillors – all Lib Dems – have signed an application which paved the way for the vote to be taken again, effectively throwing the nine libraries a lifeline.

In July, at a meeting of the full council, the proposal to withdraw core funding to nine of the county’s 34 libraries was passed by a single vote. As it stands, supporters of the threatened libraries – including those at Burton Bradstock, Charmouth, Chickerell, Portland Underhill and Puddletown – face either coming up with the funds to remain open themselves or seeing them close for good.

However, they may have other options if July’s decision can be overturned at what is anticipated to be a highly-charged meeting this morning. Campaigner Hazel Robinson, of the Association of Friends of Dorset Libraries, known as Ad Lib, said: “Only within the last few days have our communities finally been given some hint of what the council will offer us if we take over the running of our libraries.

“However, they have not told us enough for us to be able to make proper plans.”