“Valuable” Bucks libraries will not have their opening hours slashed by the county council, it has been decided this week.

The county’s libraries were at risk of having their opening hours cut by 37.5 hours a week in a bid to save £140,000 a year, according to the county council’s budget plans for 2018/19.

However, the move has been scrapped after money was found elsewhere to balance the libraries budget.

Councillors made the decision to save the libraries following a plea by Noel Brown, the cabinet member responsible for libraries, who pointed to the fact that libraries are valuable hubs that were welcomed by communities.

He said: “These are hubs where community groups gather to socialise. They're no longer places where you just borrow books."

County council leader Martin Tett, who described Noel as a massive champion for libraries, added: "Libraries offer an enormous range of services and they're valued immensely by our residents. My concern is that the proposal to further reduce opening hours could tip some into becoming unviable."

Cabinet members agreed to recommend the full county council on February 22 to use the money to maintain library opening hours.