Opening hours at two of north Cumbria’s libraries will be cut due to a lack of demand at certain times.

Carlisle’s library, in The Lanes shopping centre, will be open one hour less on both Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The reduction in opening hours will also affect Longtown’s library, which is set to lose a total of four hours over the course of a week.

The decision to change opening hours was made by Cumbria County Council’s Carlisle local committee. It was rubber-stamped at a meeting in the city.

At the meeting, Ted Thwaites, the county council’s area manager for Carlisle, said: “We have already restructured the libraries and made a number of changes. We have been looking at how the libraries are used, we’ve been looking at the figures and speaking to users.”

He continued: “In the case of two of our libraries they aren’t being used at certain times. We want to try and use those staffing resources in different ways.

Ted Thwaites “It’s not about cutting costs.”

The report prepared for members ahead of the meeting stated: “For the most part, the group is working very effectively and our libraries are well used.

“Two small but important exceptions were discovered – the research showed that whereas it is busy at other times, Carlisle Library has been greatly underused between 4pm and 5pm on Saturdays.”

As well as losing an hour on Saturdays it will also open at 10am on Tuesdays, rather than at 9am as it currently does.

Longtown’s arrangements were proposed to be closing the library on a Wednesday – currently open between 10am and 12pm – and shutting at 5pm rather than 7pm on Mondays.

However, while a reduction was agreed in principle, local member Val Tarbitt has asked to work alongside council officers to tune the fine details of the new arrangement.

A three-week public consultation was held between August 15 and September 5 at four libraries, library links and book drops, allowing people to have their say on the proposals.

The report said that 115 completed questionnaires were returned and 76 of respondents accepted the proposed changes to opening hours at Carlisle Library and 21 respondents at Longtown Library.

Eleven respondents rejected the proposals at Carlisle while 12 people rejected the Longtown idea.