A CONTROVERSIAL consultation into the future use of libraries launched today.

The Advertiser reported that the future of some libraries in and around Redditch are in doubt after ranking low on a review of need by the county council.

Woodrow and Alvechurch libraries ranked low in an assessment of Worcestershire’s 23 libraries by the county council and both could see big changes or even closure.

However, Redditch library, in the town centre, provides the most value for money out of all the county's libraries.

It has been described as one of the region's main libraries and one that has high levels of service activity and has benefited from premises-related income or savings from a property re-modelling programme.

Members of the county council's cabinet approved a 90-day public consultation into the future of library services at a meeting last week.

The consultation will look at how close libraries are to each other, which district council or community groups could run the library and look at how many people are visiting the library and what they do when they visit.

Councillor Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member for communities, said: "We want as many people as possible to take part in the consultation. We want to hear the views of residents on suggested priorities for each library and ideas they may have about which services could be delivered by individual libraries.

"Some of those ideas will help to shape our final proposals."

A link to the consultation is available from worcestershire.gov.uk and worcestershire.gov.uk/libraries and it runs until February 2 next year.

A final decision on the structure of the county’s libraries will be made in spring 2019.

The council needs to save £1 million by the end of the financial year in 2021.

Library users were told "use it or lose it" by the council earlier this month but it said it would only close libraries as a very last resort.