CHANGES to open hours at libraries in Hampshire are set to be unveiled this month.

The 40 county council-run libraries, including Fordingbridge and Ringwood, are set to have new opening hours following  a public consultation.

It comes as in July Hampshire County Council approved plans to close eight libraries.

Earlier this month the authority launched a consultation as it looked to reduce the opening hours of the remaining libraries.

It was proposed to reduce libraries’ opening hours by an average of 20 per cent.

But as previously reported, a county council document revealed that the opening hours of some libraries could increase or decrease by up to 39 per cent “to achieve a standardised approach”.

Consultation responses are currently being analysed by the county council.

Cllr Seán Woodward, the council's executive member for recreation and heritage, said: “The team are currently analysing responses to the consultation confirming the changes in staffed opening times at Hampshire libraries and we will be in a position to confirm the details of these in early September.

"The decision to reduce staffed opening hours was one of the recommendations I agreed at my Decision Day in July, so the exact times for each branch are not subject to a separate decision. We will make sure this information is available to customers, for example on our web page and in library branches, in good time before any changes are made which we expect to be complete by January 2021.”

As reported, the libraries set for closure are those in Blackfield and Lyndhurst , Fair Oak, South Ham in Basingstoke, Elson library in Gosport,  Horndean in East Hampshire,Lee-on-the-Solent library in Gosport and Odiham library in Hart.

The authority also withdrew its support to community libraries in Lowford, Milford-on-Sea and North Baddesley.

The closures as well as the proposed reduction in opening hours, are part of a move that would save the council £1.76m.

The decision follows a first public consultation held earlier this year.