LIBRARY users in South Petherton are celebrating after council officers recommended that all services which had faxed the axe should be reinstated.

Somerset County Council last year lost a High Courts challenge from campaigners against its plans to cut funding from 11 libraries including the one at South Petherton, reduce opening hours at others and scrap some of its mobile library routes.

A judge ruled that the authority had not given equalities legislation due regard.

Now council officers have recommended that the authority reinstates all services to “ensure the council is compliant with the requirements of the court judgment.”

This means that the axe has been lifted from the library at South Petherton. The recommendation is expected to be rubber-stamped tomorrow(Wednesday) at County Hall.

A council spokesman said: “The decision to be taken on January 11 would confirm our actions to restore library services in response to the Judicial Review judgment.

“It would also approve the council's approach to deciding the future funding of the library service - that elected members should consider taking a fresh decision following a service review scheduled to start in April.”

Petherton's representative at County Hall, Cllr Paul Maxwell, told the News: “I am very pleased that the Library Service in Somerset has been reprieved and remains intact.

“I am delighted that South Petherton Library will remain open. I must tribute to all the campaigners who have worked tirelessly to protect our libraries.”

Cllr Maxwell added: “David Laws MP and myself have had useful meetings with County Hall officers and further discussions are planned.”