PARISH councillors in Worsthorne have dispelled fears they could be breaking council rules by helping out the village reading rooms.

The parish council discussed plans to subsidise the shortfall in the reading rooms income at their meeting earlier this month.

But members were horrified when they were told they could be in breach of their code of conduct if they handed over the cash.

The threat arose as some members of the parish council are also trustees of the reading rooms and could be deemed to have a prejudicial interest.

However, the fears were dispelled following a meeting between the parish council and Burnley Borough Council's monitoring officer Nick Aves, who explained the legal situation.

The parish council can now help out with the shortfall, which totals around £500, as long as the reading room trustees, Tony Lambert, Alan Lawson and Mavis Hitchen, do not take part in a debate on the topic.

Coun Lambert said: "It seemed like a serious problem at first, but the situation has been clarified by the monitoring officer.

"As long as the three trustees do not take part in a debate or motion there is no issue with the parish council making up the shortfall."

The £500 will be used to pay for general upkeep of the rooms.

The Code of Conduct was introduced to ensure probity in public life.