CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to fight on after a library’s opening hours were slashed.

Changes to the opening hours at libraries across East Lothian were introduced by East Lothian Council following a review. As part of that, Port Seton Library’s weekend and evening opening hours were scrapped.

A public meeting was held on June 2 with about 20 people attending, including local councillors Fiona O’Donnell and Lachlan Bruce. Also in attendance was Karen Campbell, who set up a petition in opposition to the changes.

Port Seton Library is based in Port Seton Centre, which is open 9am-8.45pm Monday to Friday and 9am-4.30pm on Saturdays.

The library is now open on Monday 2-5pm, Tuesday 10am-1pm and 2-5pm, Thursday 2-6pm, and Friday 10am-1pm and 2-5pm.

Changes have also been brought in at Longniddry Library, which opens for additional hours on Wednesdays 10am-1pm but closes at 6pm rather than 7.30pm. Musselburgh Library has also extended its hours on Wednesdays from 1pm to 5pm.

Mrs Campbell, from Cockenzie, said: “Nearly 500 people, around 10 per cent of our community, have signed our petition to say they want the council to reconsider their decision to close Port Seton Library on Thursday evening and Saturday morning.

“Without consultation, the library has now been closed at these times.

“I remain hopeful the people at East Lothian Council who have made this decision will listen to us and give us a chance to demonstrate we value our library.

“All we want is equal access to our library, which means some evening and weekend opening.”

Mr Bruce felt the meeting had proven worthwhile and demonstrated how much the community cared about the library. He planned to speak to council officials to see what could be done in terms of any alteration to hours.

The Conservative councillor said: “There is a recognition that a lot of things the library is used for do not turn up in statistics.

“There is the Lego club when they get kids in and there are kids’ reading groups during the summer.

“You cannot take it all on the number of books that are taken out.”

Ms O’Donnell (Lab) said discussions were ongoing.

She said: “A very clear view was expressed by those at the meeting that they want to preserve the evening and the Saturday opening hours.

“So I’m exploring with officers how we can ensure that access is available. That may involve co-operation with staff in the community centre and the suggestion was also made that volunteers could be involved.”

A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council said: “Whilst it is true that Port Seton Library’s opening hours will reduce slightly, this change is part of a wider series of changes to library opening hours across the county.

“Some libraries will see a slight decrease in the hours that they are open, while others will see a slight increase in their opening hours.

“These changes follow a review of usage at all of our libraries, carried out in consultation with our library staff, so resources can be directed to meet areas of higher demand.

“While Port Seton Library will no longer open on a Saturday morning, Longniddry, Prestonpans and Tranent libraries are all open on a Saturday morning.”