ANOTHER chapter has been added in the fight to stop a reduction in Innerleithen Library hours.

In the face of considerable local opposition to any cuts, council bosses have now agreed to extend the consultation period.

Campaigners against a proposed two hour reduction in opening hours delivered a petition signed by over 1000 supporters last week.

The council's plan to relocate the local authority contact centre within the facility was also slammed by locals.

A grassroots campaign was immediately set in motion aimed at staving off any reduction in hours whilst also seeking to ensure that current librarian Elaine Hogarth remains in post.

And it seems as if they've been successful as a report planned to go before councillors this week has now been pulled.

A council spokesman said: "We had hoped the report would go to council on October 25. However, the project team is still considering all the feedback received to date and assessing the impact of this." This was welcomed by local councillor Graham Gravie who said: "This has come about as a result of the number of representations received from, in particular, Innerleithen but also from other Borders towns.

"I will now be pressing for, at least, no reduction in library hours in Innerleithen and for a further review of options for the delivery of contact centre services.

"Although this is a matter for officers to determine, I will also be asking for staff moves to be kept to a minimum, wherever possible.

"I must however re-emphasise that these are unprecedented financial times in which Councils are having to operate, and a certain amount of service rationalisation is inevitable if we are to keep crucial services like libraries local and readily available to all sections of the community." Jane Clancey, of the Protect Innerleithen Library Services campaign, said: "I'm delighted that our campaign has been noticed. There is considerable opposition in Innerleithen to the council's proposed plan. However this is no way yet a victory and we must still await a decision.

"There is always an alternative that need not cost any more. Like a maths puzzle there is always more than one way of arriving at the same answer."