LIBRARIES across the county will open for more hours in total than at present.

Lancashire County Council's executive board has agreed to public recommendations on how local libraries' opening hours could be allocated across the week in future at Thursday's cabinet meeting.

The proposed opening times initially agreed by County Hall have changed in response to feedback received from library users and partner organisations during an eight-week consultation, which ran last year from October 2 to November 26.

The new recommendations will apply to the 47 libraries that were open at the start of the consultation period and not to the 11 libraries that have recently reopened which include Whalley Library, Burnley Campus Library, Barrowford Library and Oswaldtwistle Library.

Each of the 47 libraries has been allocated to one of four different bands depending upon local need and proportionate to the population that each library is serving.

Libraries listed in band one, including Burnley Library, will now open for 50 hours over six days every week.

Band two libraries, including Nelson Library, will open for 42 hours over six days every week.

Libraries listed in band three will open for 34 hours over five days every week, including Brierfield Library and Whitworth Library.

While band four libraries will open for 18 hours over four days a week.

County Cllr Peter Buckley, who is the cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: "The overall proposal means that libraries will be open for more hours in total across the county at a reduced total cost. There will be no difference in the quality of service between bands."

Rossendale Cllr Alan Neal, who represents Whitworth, said it was 'superb' news because people in the area will be able to use facilities in the library more often.

He said: "In Whitworth's case there are 28 per cent of the population who do not have access to a computer or IT system.

"Staff members and friends of Whitworth Library will be able to provide services for older people in the area."

However Ribble Valley Cllr Ged Mirfin, who actively campaigned for the reopening of Whalley Library, said he felt there was no need for Lancashire to intervene to extend the opening hours at Whalley Library.

He said: "There is no need for Lancashire to provide permanent staff to extend the opening hours if the volunteer support is available to staff the library instead and I know it is in Whalley."