SUPPORTERS of nine threatened Libraries in Dorset have been given a ray of hope by a parliamentary review into library closures.

Dorset County Council has agreed to withdraw core funding to libraries at Burton Bradstock, Charmouth, Chickerell, Corfe Castle, Colehill, Portland Underhill, Puddletown, Stalbridge and Wool and it will be up to local communities to keep the facilities running.

However, it has now been announced that the Culture, Media and Sport select committee – a cross party committee of MPs – is to hold an inquiry into library closures that will look at, among other things, the Secretary of States power to intervene.

Acting chairman of Ad Lib (The Association of Friends of Dorset Libraries) Tim Lee said: “For the past year, ever since Dorset County Council began the squeeze on its libraries, we have been calling for the minister responsible to step in and save them.

“The present law requires the secretary of state for culture to ensure that library authorities provide a ‘comprehensive and efficient service’.

“But he has done nothing to halt the attack on libraries not only in Dorset but across the country.

“Now, at long last, the parliamentary committee which oversees his department has taken action.

“It has called for a review of the way in which the minister exercises his powers to safeguard libraries.”

Ad Lib is now urging supporters of Dorset’s threatened libraries to have their say in the inquiry by emailing to demand that the law is strengthened to protect people in rural areas.