COUNTY leaders have decided not to overturn the decision to reduce the library service in Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire County Council’s overview scrutiny management committee has confirmed that it will not accept attempts by Liberal Democrat councillors to overturn the authority’s decision to proceed with cuts to the library service.

The Liberal Democrat group at the council had lodged a legal challenge, called a ‘call-in’, to try and halt the strategy, which will save the council £1.8 million, from coming into force.

The overview scrutiny management committee, which is made up of all political groups, met last Monday, April 30 to consider the call-in.

The authority said: "The committee did not accept the call-in and found no grounds to overturn the decision taken. Therefore the decision stands and will be implemented."

Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet approved last month plans to close seven libraries across the county, including Berkeley, with the offer of handing them to communities to run.

Of the 31 libraries still being supported by the authority, nine will be open six days a week and the other 22 will have varied opening hours.

In Wotton-under-Edge the library will open just 12 hours a week with two members of staff.

Gloucestershire County Council’s previous plans to cut the service were overturned by a High Court ruling last year and campaigners had hoped this would save the county’s libraries.

The campaign group, Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries, which has fought against the council’s plans, said they were disappointed but not surprised by the decision.

In a statement the group said: "The whole library review has been a serious case of deja vu in which Gloucestershire County Council has failed to demonstrate that they have learnt any lessons from their court defeat in November 2011 when a high court judge ruled them to be guilty of 'bad government'".