ALMOST 4,000 people have responded to the county council’s plans to reduce Gloucestershire’s library service.

During Gloucestershire County Council’s six-week consultation 3,900 people replied to proposals which include reducing the opening hours at Wotton Library to just 12 hours. In Berkeley the council wants to hand the library over to the community to run.

According to the authority 82 per cent of respondents said they agreed with the overall proposals to extend the use of volunteers, share buildings and introduce community-run libraries.

When asked about mobile library provision 78 per cent said they agreed with sharing the service with other public sector bodies.

In total just 13.3 per cent who responded opposed the plans altogether.

The council spoke to 1,000 people in a random telephone survey, and 1,000 questionnaires were sent to a random sample of library users - 329 were returned.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: "This was an extremely thorough consultation and I am delighted that so many people took the time to take part.

"People raised some very important points and we will have to look at these very closely before taking a decision next week."

The council is now considering all the feedback before the final decision on the strategy is taken by cabinet next Thursday, April 5.