FRANKLEY Library has avoided closure under council plans designed to slash running costs - but faces reduced opening hours.

Birmingham City Council announced on Monday (October 10) that two of the city’s 37 libraries will shut as part of proposals to make savings of £1.95 million per year.

The library in Frankley, which has operated under reduced temporary opening hours since July, has avoided the axe but will see its current opening times made permanent.

Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "This is one of the most difficult consultations we will have to run, but the funding pressures and restrictions we face mean that no change is simply not an option.

"We need to look at libraries and how they can best operate in 2016 and beyond with the reduced resource available.

"The time has come to acknowledge that a one size fits all model isn’t the best way of delivering such a service.

"To do this, we are staging a genuine consultation based on plans that have been reviewed by best practice councils that have faced the same issues and expert groups from the library sector.

"The plans we have put together would keep a robust library service operating over the broadest geographical range possible and give community groups with a passion for libraries a great chance to step up and deliver and shape plans that are relevant for their own local needs.

"I cannot stress enough this is a genuine consultation and if anyone has any ideas or offers to work with us, now is the time to let us know."

Libraries are graded into four groups: opening at 35 hours per week (Tier 1), 21 hours per week (Tier 2), 15 hours per week (Tier 3) and community-run sites (Tier 4).

Frankley Library has been graded as Tier 2 – listing it as a ‘Community Library’ – which will see its current opening times of 21.5 hours per week reduced to a minimum of 21.

Sutton Coldfield Library and Aston Library will both close, resulting in 24 staff redundancies.

The dates for the three-month consultation, which has been in development since 2015, will be finalised once the proposals are passed by cabinet on October 18.